Tag Archives: god the father

Charles Spurgeon – The Father of lights

 

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” James 1:17

Suggested Further Reading: Revelation 21:22-22:5

The apostle, having thus introduced the sun as a figure to represent the Father of lights, finding that it did not bear the full resemblance of the invisible God, seems constrained to amend it by a remark that, unlike the sun, our Father has no turning or variableness. The sun has its daily variation; it rises at a different time each day, and it sets at various hours in the course of the year. It moves into other parts of the heavens. It is clouded at times, and eclipsed at times. It also has tropic; or, turning. It turns its chariot to the South, until, at the solstice, God bids it reverse its rein, and then it visits us once more. But God is superior to all figures or emblems. He is immutable. The sun changes, mountains crumble, the ocean shall be dried up, the stars shall wither from the vault of night; but God, and God alone, remains ever the same. Were I to enter into a full discourse on the subject of immutability, my time, if multiplied by a high number, would fail me. But reminding you that there is no change in His power, justice, knowledge, oath, threatening, or decree, I will confine myself to the fact that His love to us knows no variation. How often it is called unchangeable, everlasting love! He loves me now as much as he did when first he inscribed my name in his eternal book of election. He has not repented of his choice. He has not blotted out one of his chosen; there are no erasures in that book; all whose names are written in it are safe for ever.

For meditation: As part of creation the sun speaks of the character of God (Romans 1:20) but even at its brightest can only give a glimpse of his glory. Praise God for the Lord Jesus Christ, the true light (John 1:9) whose face, when transfigured, shone like the sun (Matthew 17:2); God the Son has made God the Father of light known to us (John 1:18).

1st sermon at New Park St.

27 July (Preached 18 December 1853)

Max Lucado – Say Thank You

 

The Apostle Paul says, “Give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:20).

You don’t have to name a child after God, but then again, you could. Or you could draft a letter listing all His blessings or write a song in His honor. You could sponsor an orphan or adopt a child just because God adopted you. The surest path out of a slump is marked by the road sign, “Thank you.”

But what of the disastrous days? Are you grateful then? Jesus was. “On the night when He was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it…” (1 Corinthians 11:23-24). Not often are the words betrayed and thanks in the same sentence, much less in the same heart. Anyone can thank God for the light. Jesus teaches us to thank God for the night!

From You’ll Get Through This

Charles Stanley – Jesus, the Son of God

 

Luke 22:66-71

Jesus called Himself both the Son of Man and the Son of God. The first title emphasized His humanity; the second, His deity. He is the only person in history who was both God and man. Leaving heaven, He laid aside His divine glory and took upon Himself the robe of humanness (Phil. 2:6-7).

Who recognized His divine nature?

  • Angels. At Christ’s birth, the angel Gabriel told Mary that she would bear a child and His name would be the Son of God (Luke 1:26-35).
  • God the Father. When Jesus was baptized in the river Jordan, the heavenly Father declared, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased” (Matt. 3:17). Later, God affirmed this same truth and instructed those present listen to Jesus (17:5).
  • Satan and the demons. Knowing that Jesus was God’s Son, Satan challenged Him to use His supernatural powers to bypass God’s plan. Later in the same chapter, the demons saw Jesus and shrieked that He was the Son of God (Luke 4:1-41).
  • Disciples. When these men saw Jesus walk on water in the midst of the storm, they worshiped Him and concluded He was the Son of God (Matt. 14:25-33). Peter later declared, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (16:16).
  • Martha. When Jesus brought Lazarus back to life, his sister Martha said, “I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world” (John 11:27 NIV).

The world needs to understand who Jesus is. Whom can you tell about His deity?

Bible in One Year: Psalms 35-38

Ravi Zacharias Ministry –   Ascending Creatures

 

Most of us would likely miss it. Couched between Wednesday’s building crescendo of assignments and Friday’s promise of their demise, Thursday hardly seems more than a means to an end. Though the day is every bit as holy as Easter Sunday, most of the world moves through it unsuspectingly—unfortunately, even those who have confessed the momentous lines of the Apostles’ Creed: “On the third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended to heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty.”

Today is Ascension Day, the day marking the ascension of Jesus Christ. Forty days after the celebration of Easter and the resurrection of Jesus, the church around the world holds in remembrance this eventful day. The gospel writer records: “Then [Jesus] said to his disciples…. ‘See, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.’ Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them. While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven. And they worshiped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy; and they were continually in the temple blessing God.”(1)

The ascension of Christ may not seem as momentous to the Christian story as the resurrection or as rousing as the image of Jesus on the cross. After the death and resurrection, in fact, the ascension might even seem somewhat anti-climatic. The resurrection and ascension statements of the Apostles’ Creed are essentially treated as one in the same: On the third day he rose again from the dead. He ascended to heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty. One might even think that the one miraculous act flowed immediately into the other: as if the death of the body of Jesus was answered in the resurrection, a presence who then floated onto heaven. Unfortunately, the result of this impression is that many think of the ascension as somehow casting off of Christ’s human nature, as if Jesus is a presence that only used to be human. Hence, Jesus seems one more fit to memorialize than one we might expect to actually see face-to-face one day.

But in fact, this couldn’t be farther from the experience of the disciples, to whom Jesus appeared repeatedly in the days following the resurrection. To them it was abundantly clear that Jesus was not any sort of spiritual ghost or remote presence. He ate with them; he talked with them; he instructed them as to the ministries they would lead and the deaths they would face because of him. He was in fact more fully human than they ever realized, and it was this holy body, this divine person that they held near as they lived and died to proclaim his kingdom.

Consequently, the ascension they remembered was no different than the future they envisioned with him: he was raised as a human, fully human. As the disciples were watching and Jesus was taken up before their very eyes, a cloud hid him from their sight. The text then refers to them “looking intently up into the sky as he was going” when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them: “‘Men of Galilee,’ they said, ‘why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go’”(3) In this resurrected body, Christ ascended to heaven, fully human, fully divine, entirely glorified.

For the Christian, no action of Jesus is without weight, and this, his last action on earth, is weighed with far more hope than is often realized. Ascending to heaven, the work God sent him to accomplish was finally completed. The ascension was a living and public declaration of his dying words on the Cross: It is finished. In the ascension, Jesus furthered the victory of Easter—the victory of a physical body in whom God had conquered death. Because of the ascension, the incarnation is not a past or throwaway event. Because of the ascension, we know that the incarnate Son who was raised from the dead is sharing in our humanity even now. And just as the men in white informed the disciples, so we carry in our own flesh a guarantee that Christ will one day bring us to himself. It is for these reasons that N.T. Wright affirms, “To embrace the Ascension is to heave a sigh of relief, to give up the struggle to be God (and with it the inevitable despair at our constant failure), and to enjoy our status as creatures: image-bearing creatures, but creatures nonetheless.”(3)

Ascension Day, a holy day falling inconspicuously on a Thursday in May, is the conspicuous declaration that we are not left as orphans. In the same post-resurrection body that he invited Thomas to touch, Jesus invites us to full humanity even today. He ascended with a body, he shares in our humanity, extending his own body even now, promising to return for our own bodies. Christ is preparing a room for us, and we know it is real because he himself is real.

Jill Carattini is managing editor of A Slice of Infinity at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia.

(1) Luke 24:49-53.

(2) Acts 1:9-11.

(3) N.T. Wright, Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church (New York: Harper Collins, 2008), 114.

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Father and Son

 

“For a person who doesn’t believe in Christ, God’s Son, can’t have God the Father either. But he who has Christ, God’s Son, has God the Father also” (1 John 2:23).

An angry young student leader of a leftist movement approached me after one of my lectures on campus. “I resent your poisoning the minds of these students with your religious ideas,” he said, obviously trying to start an argument.

Instead of responding in kind, I asked him to come to our home for dinner where we could talk quietly and more in depth. He accepted the invitation.

After dinner, we discussed our individual views concerning God and man and the way we felt our ideas could best help man to maximize his potential. He objected when I started to read from the Bible.

“I don’t believe anything in the Bible,” he said.

“Well,” I said, “if you don’t mind, I would like to read you a few portions of Scripture which will help you better understand why I became a Christian after many years of agnosticism. I didn’t believe in God or the Bible either, but something wonderful happened to me which changed my thinking – in fact, my whole way of life. There are some of the Scriptures which made a great impression on my thinking, and I would like to share them with you.”

Reluctantly he agreed to listen. So I read portions of John 1, Hebrews 1 and Colossians, finally coming to this key verse in 1 John. My new student friend asked questions along the way. Before leaving that night, the miracle occurred and he wrote in our guest book, “The night of decision.”

Bible Reading: I John 4:14-17

TODAY’S ACTION POINT:  Rather than try to defend the supernatural Word of God, I will simply present it in the power of the Holy Spirit and let the Word of God be its own defense.

John MacArthur – Acknowledging the Ultimate Source of Everything

 

“Joyously giving thanks to the Father” (Col. 1:11-12).

Joyous thanksgiving acknowledges God as the giver of every good gift.

The inseparable link between joy and thanksgiving was a common theme for Paul. In Philippians 4:4-6 he says, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! . . . Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” He told the Thessalonians to “rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thess. 5:16- 18).

As often as Paul expressed thanks and encouraged others to express theirs, he was careful never to attribute to men the thanks due to God alone. For example in Romans 1:8 he says, “I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, because your faith is being proclaimed throughout the whole world.” He thanked God, not the Roman believers, because he knew that faith is a gift from God.

That doesn’t mean you can’t thank others for the kindnesses they show, but in doing so you must understand that they are instruments of God’s grace.

Thanking Him shows humility and acknowledges His rightful place as the Sovereign Lord and the giver of every good and perfect gift (James 1:17). Those who reject His lordship and refuse to give Him thanks incur His wrath (Rom. 1:21).

Only those who love Christ can truly give thanks because He is the channel through which thanks is expressed to the Father. As Paul says in Colossians 3:17, “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” Hebrews 13:15 adds, “Through [Christ] then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.”

As one who is privileged to know the God of all grace, be generous in your praise and thanksgiving today. See everything as a gift from His hand for your joy and edification.

Suggestions for Prayer;  Recite Psalm 136 as a prayer of praise to God.

For Further Study; From Psalm 136 list the things that prompted the psalmist’s thanksgiving. How can that psalm serve as a model for your own praise?

Alistair Begg – The Father’s Role

The Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.  1 John 4:14

It is a sweet thought that Jesus Christ did not appear without His Father’s permission, authority, consent, and assistance. He was sent by the Father, that He might be the Savior of men.

We are too apt to forget that while there are distinctions as to the persons in the Trinity, there are no distinctions of honor. We are prone to ascribe the honor of our salvation, or at least the depths of its benevolence, more to Jesus Christ than to the Father. This is a very great mistake. Yes, Jesus came, but didn’t His Father send Him? He spoke powerfully, but didn’t His Father pour grace into His lips, that He might be an able minister of the new covenant? Whoever knows the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit as they should know them never sets one before another in his love; he sees them together at Bethlehem, at Gethsemane, and on Calvary, all equally engaged in the work of salvation.

O Christian, have you put your confidence in the Man Christ Jesus? Have you placed your trust solely on Him? And are you united with Him? Then believe that you are united with the God of heaven. Since to the Man Christ Jesus you are brother and live in close fellowship, you are in this way linked with God the Eternal, and “the Ancient of days” is your Father and your friend.

Did you ever consider the depth of love in the heart of Jehovah, when God the Father equipped His Son for the great enterprise of mercy? If not, meditate today on this: The Father sent Him! Contemplate that subject. Think how Jesus works what the Father wills. In the wounds of the dying Savior view the love of the great I AM. Let every thought of Jesus be also connected with the Eternal, ever-blessed God, for “It was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief.”1

1) Isaiah 53:10

Today’s Bible Reading

The family reading plan for February 5, 2015
* Genesis 38
Mark 8

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

Charles Spurgeon – The earnest of heaven

 

“That holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance.” Ephesians 1:13-14

Suggested Further Reading: 1 Corinthians 2:6-16

You remember the day, some of you, when you first learned the doctrines of grace. When we were first converted, we did not know much about them, we did not know whether God had converted us, or we had converted ourselves; but we heard a discourse one day in which some sentences were used, which gave us the clue to the whole system, and we began at once to see how God the Father planned, and God the Son carried out, and God the Holy Spirit applied, and we found ourselves suddenly brought into the midst of a system of truths, which we might perhaps have believed before, but which we could not have clearly stated, and did not understand. Well, the joy of that advance in knowledge was exceeding great. I know it was to me. I can remember well the day and hour, when first I received those truths in my own soul—when they were burnt into me, as John Bunyan says—burnt as with a hot iron into my soul; and I can recollect how I felt I had grown suddenly from a babe into a man—that I had made progress in Scriptural knowledge, from having got a hold once and for all of the clue to the truth of God. Well, now, in that moment when God the Holy Spirit increased your knowledge, and opened the eyes of your understanding, you had the earnest, that you shall one day see, not through a glass darkly, but face to face, and then you shall know the whole truth, even as you are known.

For meditation: The best teacher and interpreter of Scripture is God the Holy Spirit who moved chosen men to record his Word (2 Peter 1:20-21). Do you always seek his help when you are reading or studying God’s Word?

Sermon no. 358

3 February (1861)

Charles Stanley –Why are men saved?

 

“Nevertheless he saved them for his name’s sake.” Psalm 106:8

Suggested Further Reading: 1 Peter 1:1,2

Jesus Christ is the Saviour; but not more so than God the Father, or God the Holy Spirit. Some persons who are ignorant of the system of divine truth think of God the Father as being a great being full of wrath, and anger, and justice, but having no love, they think of God the Spirit perhaps as a mere influence proceeding from the Father and the Son. Now, nothing can be more incorrect than such opinions. It is true the Son redeems me, but then the Father gave the Son to die for me, and the Father chose me in the everlasting election of his grace. The Father blots out my sin; the Father accepts me and adopts me into his family through Christ. The Son could not save without the Father any more than the Father without the Son; and as for the Holy Spirit, if the Son redeems, do you not know that the Holy Spirit regenerates? It is he that makes us new creatures in Christ, who “begets us again unto a lively hope,” who purifies our soul, who sanctifies our spirit, and who, at last, presents us spotless and faultless before the throne of the Most High, accepted in the beloved. When you say, “Saviour,” remember there is a Trinity in that word—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, this Saviour being three persons under one name. You cannot be saved by the Son without the Father, nor by the Father without the Son, nor by Father and Son without the Spirit. But as they are one in creation, so are they one in salvation, working together in one God for our salvation, and unto that God be glory everlasting, world without end. Amen.

For meditation: We are to be baptised in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19) in acknowledgement of the fact that all three persons of the Trinity have accomplished our salvation.

Sermon no. 115
1 February (1857)

Charles Spurgeon –  Why are men saved?

 

“Nevertheless he saved them for his name’s sake.” Psalm 106:8

Suggested Further Reading: 1 Peter 1:1,2

Jesus Christ is the Saviour; but not more so than God the Father, or God the Holy Spirit. Some persons who are ignorant of the system of divine truth think of God the Father as being a great being full of wrath, and anger, and justice, but having no love, they think of God the Spirit perhaps as a mere influence proceeding from the Father and the Son. Now, nothing can be more incorrect than such opinions. It is true the Son redeems me, but then the Father gave the Son to die for me, and the Father chose me in the everlasting election of his grace. The Father blots out my sin; the Father accepts me and adopts me into his family through Christ. The Son could not save without the Father any more than the Father without the Son; and as for the Holy Spirit, if the Son redeems, do you not know that the Holy Spirit regenerates? It is he that makes us new creatures in Christ, who “begets us again unto a lively hope,” who purifies our soul, who sanctifies our spirit, and who, at last, presents us spotless and faultless before the throne of the Most High, accepted in the beloved. When you say, “Saviour,” remember there is a Trinity in that word—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, this Saviour being three persons under one name. You cannot be saved by the Son without the Father, nor by the Father without the Son, nor by Father and Son without the Spirit. But as they are one in creation, so are they one in salvation, working together in one God for our salvation, and unto that God be glory everlasting, world without end. Amen.

For meditation: We are to be baptised in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19) in acknowledgement of the fact that all three persons of the Trinity have accomplished our salvation.

Sermon no. 115

1 February (1857)

Charles Spurgeon – The death of Christ

 

“Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.” Isaiah 53:10

Suggested Further Reading: Acts 4:23-31

He who reads the Bible with the eye of faith, desiring to discover its hidden secrets, sees something more in the Saviour’s death than Roman cruelty or Jewish malice: he sees the solemn decree of God fulfilled by men, who were the ignorant, but guilty instruments of its accomplishment. He looks beyond the Roman spear and nail, beyond the Jewish taunt and jeer, up to the sacred fount, whence all things flow, and traces the crucifixion of Christ to the breast of deity. He believes with Peter—“Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain.” We dare not impute to God the sin, but at the same time the fact, with all its marvellous effects in the world’s redemption, we must ever trace to the sacred fountain of divine love. So does our prophet. He says, “It pleased Jehovah to bruise him.” He overlooks both Pilate and Herod, and traces it to the heavenly Father, the first person in the divine trinity. “It pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief.” Now, beloved, there be many who think that God the Father is at best but an indifferent spectator of salvation. Others belie him still more. They look upon him as an unloving, severe being, who had no love to the human race, and could only be made loving by the death and agonies of our Saviour. Now, this is a foul libel upon the fair and glorious grace of God the Father, to whom for ever be honour: for Jesus Christ did not die to make God loving, but he died because God was loving.

“‘Twas not to make Jehovah’s love ‘Twas not the death which he endured,

Towards his people flame, Nor all the pangs he bore,

That Jesus from the throne above, That God’s eternal love procured,

A suff’ring man became. For God was love before.”

For meditation: Who so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son (John 3:16)?

Sermon no. 173

24 January (1858)

Joyce Meyer – Jesus Lived a Life of Thanksgiving

 

At all times and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father. —Ephesians 5:20

Part of prayer’s power is the power of thanksgiving . . . because there is not powerful living apart from a life of thanksgiving. During His earthly ministry, Jesus lived a life of thanksgiving. He gave thanks to the Father on many occasions and for many things.

For example, He gave thanks to God when He broke the loaves and fishes and fed the 4,000 people (see Matthew 15:36). He thanked God that He had heard His prayer concerning the raising of Lazarus from the dead (John 11:41– 42).

And He gave thanks to God when He gave the bread and wine to His disciples at the Last Supper even though He knew His suffering and death were very close (see Mark 14:22– 23).

If it was important for Jesus to live a life of thanksgiving, it should certainly be important for us to do the same thing.

Prayer of Thanks Thank You, Father, for the example of Jesus and the thankful life He modeled for us. Help me to enter Your gates with thanksgiving every time I come to You in prayer. You are good and You are worthy of my thanksgiving and my praise.

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.

Charles Spurgeon – Search the Scriptures

 

“To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Isaiah 8:20

Suggested Further Reading: Acts 17:10-15

I teach that all men by nature are lost by Adam’s fall. See whether that is true or not. I hold that men have so gone astray that no man either will or can come to Christ except the Father draw him. If I am wrong, find me out. I believe that God, before all worlds, chose to himself a people, whom no man can number, for whom the Saviour died, to whom the Holy Spirit is given, and who will infallibly be saved. You may dislike that doctrine; I do not care: see if it is not in the Bible. See if it does not there declare that we are “elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father,” and so on. I believe that every child of God must assuredly be brought by converting grace from the ruins of the fall, and must assuredly be “kept by the power of God, through faith, unto salvation,” beyond the hazard of ever totally falling away. If I am wrong there, get your Bibles out, and refute me in your own houses. I hold it to be a fact that every man who is converted will lead a holy life, and yet at the same time will put no dependence on his holy life, but trust only in the blood and righteousness of Jesus Christ. And I hold, that every man that believes, is in duty bound to be immersed. I hold the baptism of infants to be a lie and a heresy; but I claim for that great ordinance of God, Believer’s Baptism, that it should have the examination of Scripture. I hold, that to none but believers may immersion be given, and that all believers are in duty bound to be immersed. If I am wrong, well and good; do not believe me; but if I am right, obey the Word with reverence. I will have no error, even upon a point which some men think to be unimportant; for a grain of truth is a diamond, and a grain of error may be of serious consequence to us, to our injury and hurt. I hold, then, that none but believers have any right to the Lord’s Supper; that it is wrong to offer the Lord’s Supper indiscriminately to all, and that none but Christians have a right either to the doctrines, the benefits, or the ordinances of God’s house. If these things are not so, condemn me as you please; but if the Bible is with me, your condemnation is of no avail.

For meditation: This is how to use these daily readings—according to the Bible, Spurgeon must have made some mistakes (James 3:1,2).

Sermon no. 172

17 January (1858)

Presidential Prayer Team; H.L.M. – Draw Near

 

In the Greek language, the noun “logos,” translated “Word,” most often refers to either oral or written communication. The primary use of logos is to denote divine revelation in some form or another. In the Gospel of John, Word is a title for Jesus as the communicator and the ultimate revelation of God the Father.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:1

During Old Testament days, the high priest went before God each year to plead for the forgiveness of the nation’s sins. However, Hebrews 7:25 says, “He [Jesus] is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.” Christ has paid the price for your sin and is now the only needed advocate between you and God.

No matter what happened in 2014, thank Jesus that He has paid for your sin once and for all. This year, commit to drawing closer to God through worship and reading His Word. Consistently present your needs to Him through prayer – and as you do, also ask that the nation’s leaders who don’t know the Lord will discover a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Recommended Reading: James 4:8-17

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Love Without Limit

 

“I have given them the glory You gave Me – the glorious unity of being one, as We are – I in them and You in Me, all being perfected into one – so that the world will know You sent Me and will understand that You love them as much as You love Me” (John 17:22,23).

One day, as I was reading this prayer of Jesus to God the Father, I leaped from my chair in excitement when I realized that God loves me as much as He loves His only begotten Son!

What is more, He loves us unconditionally. That means He loves us not because we are good, or worthy of His love, but simply because of who He is.

Of course, the miracle of it all is that when Jesus, who is the incarnation of God’s love, comes to live within us, that same supernatural love becomes operative within us, enabling us to love others supernaturally as well.

Agape (sacrificial, supernatural and unconditional love) is best described in the well-known and oft-quoted 13th chapter of 1 Corinthians:

“Love is very patient and kind, never jealous or envious, never boastful or proud, never haughty or selfish or rude. Love does not demand its own way. It is not irritable or touchy. It does not hold grudges and will hardly even notice when others do it wrong. It is never glad about injustice, but rejoices whenever truth wins out. If you love someone you will be loyal to him no matter what the cost. You will always believe in him, always expect the best of him, and always stand your ground in defending him.”

Bible Reading: John 17:15-21

Today’s Action Point: When things go wrong today – or any day – I will choose to remember that God loves me just as much as He loves His only begotten Son! And I will tell everyone who will listen about God’s supernatural love for them.

Charles Spurgeon – Man’s ruin and God’s remedy

CharlesSpurgeon

“And the Lord said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.” Numbers 21:8

Suggested Further Reading: Luke 23:1-5

Christ’s redemption was so plenteous, that had God willed it, if all the stars of heaven had been peopled with sinners, Christ need not have suffered another pang to redeem them all—there was a boundless value in his precious blood. And, sinner, if there were so much as this, surely there is enough for thee. And then again, if thou art not satisfied with Christ’s sin-offering, just think a moment; God is satisfied, God the Father is content, and must not thou be? The Judge saith, “I am satisfied; let the sinner go free, for I have punished the Surety in his stead;” and if the Judge is satisfied, surely the criminal may be. Oh! Come, poor sinner, come and see; if there is enough to appease the wrath of God there must be enough to answer all the requirements of man. “Nay, nay,” saith one, “but my sin is such a terrible one that I cannot see in the substitution of Christ that which is like to meet it.” What is thy sin? “Blasphemy.” Why, Christ died for blasphemy: this was the very charge which man imputed to him, and therefore you may be quite sure that God laid it on him if men did. “Nay, nay,” saith one, “but I have been worse than that; I have been a liar.” It is just what men said of him. They declared that he lied when he said, “If this temple be destroyed I will build it in three days.” See in Christ a liar’s Saviour as well as a blasphemer’s Saviour. “But,” says one, “I have been in league with Beelzebub.” Just what they said of Christ. They said that he cast out devils through Beelzebub. So man laid that sin on him, and man did unwittingly what God would have him do. I tell thee, even that sin was laid on Christ.

For meditation: Christ was truly a sign spoken against (Luke 2:34). Men called him many names which God had never given him—Beelzebub (Matthew 10:25), glutton and drunkard (Matthew 11:19), impostor (Matthew 27:63), liar (John 8:13), sinner (John 9:24), demon-possessed and mad (John 10:20), and blasphemer (John 10:33). On the cross God treated his Son as if he was everything that man had accused him of, and every other sin besides.

Sermon no. 285

20 November (1859)

Charles Spurgeon – The exaltation of Christ

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“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9-11

Suggested Further Reading: John 17:1-5

Look at him! Can your imagination picture him? Behold his transcendent glory! The majesty of kings is swallowed up; the pomp of empires dissolves like the white mist of the morning before the sun; the brightness of assembled armies is eclipsed. He in himself is brighter than the sun, more terrible than armies with banners. See him! See him! Oh! Hide your heads, you monarchs; put away your gaudy pageantry, you lords of this poor narrow earth! His kingdom knows no bounds; without a limit his vast empire stretches out itself. Above him all is his; beneath him many a step are angels, and they are his; and they cast their crowns before his feet. With them stand his elect and ransomed, and their crowns too are his. And here upon this lower earth stand his saints, and they are his, and they adore him; and under the earth, among the infernals, where devils growl their malice, even there is trembling and adoration; and where lost spirits, with wailing and gnashing of teeth for ever lament their being, even there, there is the acknowledgement of his Godhead, even though the confession helps to make the fire of their torments. In heaven, in earth, in hell, all knees bend before him, and every tongue confesses that he is God. If not now, yet in the time that is to come this shall be carried out, that every creature of God’s making shall acknowledge his Son to be “God over all, blessed for ever. Amen.” Oh! My soul anticipates that blessed day, when this whole earth shall bend its knee before its God willingly! I do believe there is a happy era coming, when there shall not be one knee unbent before my Lord and Master.

For meditation: For meditation: Those who refuse to acknowledge the Lord Jesus Christ in this life (2 John 7) will be forced to acknowledge him in the next—but it will be too late to do them any good. Those who trust in him now will enjoy praising him for ever.

Sermon no. 101

2 November (1856)

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – You Are Indwelt by God Himself!

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“Haven’t you yet learned that your body is the home of the Holy Spirit God gave you, and that He lives within you? Your own body does not belong to you” (1 Corinthians 6:19).

The Bible teaches that there is one God manifested in three persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – and that God lives within everyone who has received Christ.

One of the most important truths I have learned as a Christian is that this omnipotent, holy, righteous, loving, triune God – our heavenly Father, our risen Savior and Holy Spirit, Creator of heaven and earth – comes to dwell within sinful man at the moment he receives Christ! And, through Christ’s blood, sinful man is made righteous at the moment of the new birth!

Meditate with me upon what this means. When you fully grasp that the God of love, grace, wisdom, power and majesty dwells within you waiting to release His matchless love and mighty power is absolutely awesome.

You are His temple, and if you invite Him to, He will actually walk around in your body, think with your mind, love with your heart, speak with your lips and continue to seek and save the lost, for whom He gave His life 2,000 years ago. Incredible! Incomprehensible to our finite minds, this truth is so clearly emphasized in the Word of God and demonstrated in the lives of all who trust and obey Him that there can be no doubt. If you have received Christ, God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – now indwells you and your body has become His temple.

Bible Reading: Acts 2:37-40

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will begin every day by acknowledging that my body is a temple of God. I will invite the Lord Jesus Christ to walk around in my body, think with my mind, love with my heart, speak with my lips and continue to seek and save the lost through me. I will invite the Holy Spirit to empower and enable me to live a holy, supernatural life and be a fruitful witness of God’s love and grace – that my life will bring praise, honor, worship and glory to God the Father.

Charles Stanley – Growing in Servanthood

Charles Stanley

Kids love to show off their height. They eagerly anticipate being tall enough to do all the things their short stature currently prevents. Many parents record and celebrate their children’s growth. They follow the tradition of marking heights on a doorframe.

God the Father also measures His children’s growth. He delights in seeing us reach new levels of spiritual maturity so we can accept greater responsibility. Because a new believer is like a little child in faith, his or her kingdom tasks are, at first, light. God is beginning the transformation process that will grow a saved human being into the image of Christ.

The call to servanthood requires us to do as the Lord Jesus did: act humbly on behalf of our fellow man. When we successfully minister where we are called, new opportunities will open up and offer fresh challenges.

Every opportunity to bless others honors the Lord and increases a believer’s wisdom and stature before Him. Much of God’s work goes on where only He can see it. But our heavenly Father is always measuring His children for future service. He’s gauging how much closer we are to His goal for us and what new task will draw us even closer.

God calls each believer to a life of service, just as He called Paul, Peter and James. This should be an exciting prospect. But too many people get hung up believing they can’t be “as good” as the apostles of old or the preachers and missionaries of today. A popular idea in the church is that the Lord’s servants are only those doing full-time ministry. Everyone else is simply trying to live well. Nothing could be further from the truth. From God’s perspective, you and I are the same as Paul, Peter, and James: servants with important kingdom work to do.

Some kingdom jobs look more important than others. But that’s only because we evaluate them with human eyes. Every work that advances the Gospel or serves a need is valuable—from cleaning the church or preaching to evangelizing or recording a praise album.

Everyone can’t be on a foreign mission field. But we can all share the gospel with a neighbor. Some people can sing in the choir. Others can put a dollar in the hand of homeless man. God invites us to do His work in the world, whether the task is great or small. We accomplish it by serving our fellow man. Ask Him what He would have you do.

Whatever your calling, remember… spiritual growth impacts our fruitfulness. The longer we’ve been believers, the greater our service should be. That does not mean tasks will be highly visible. Satan tries to convince people that some jobs are trivial. But the moment a believer falls for that lie, growth is stunted. God will promote those who put forth the best effort, no matter what the task is.