Tag Archives: MacArthur

Denison Forum – ARE ‘BATHROOM BILL’ BOYCOTTS HYPOCRITICAL?

As the world knows, Bruce Springsteen recently cancelled his concert in Greensboro, North Carolina to protest the state’s so-called “bathroom bill.” He stated that he wants to join the “fight against prejudice and bigotry” and claims that cancelling his concert is “the strongest means I have for raising my voice in opposition to those who continue to push us backwards instead of forwards.” (For more, see Janet Denison’s Springsteen and Van Zandt’s Ideas About Morality.)

However, Springsteen is planning to perform in Italy this July, where same-sex marriage is illegal. He operates under the Sony label, which does business in Russia, China, South Korea, Hong Kong, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE)—all of which prohibit same-sex marriage. In fact, the UAE prohibits all homosexual activity as illegal.

Bryan Adams cancelled tonight’s concert in Mississippi because of its LGBTQ laws. However, he played in Egypt last month, where gay people routinely face persecution. He has played in Syria, Qatar, and the UAE, where same-sex relations are illegal.

Starbucks has asked the North Carolina governor to repeal its “bathroom bill.” However, the company does significant business in China and the Asia-Pacific region, with fourth-quarter revenue of $652.2 million. China’s marriage law defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman; the government forbids same-sex couples from adopting children.

Continue reading Denison Forum – ARE ‘BATHROOM BILL’ BOYCOTTS HYPOCRITICAL?

BreakPoint – Man Does Not Live by Math Alone: the Importance of the Humanities for Our Spiritual Education

We’ve all seen the studies showing that students in America are falling behind in STEM subjects—STEM is shorthand for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics—and many in education and government are freaking out. The STEM Education Coalition warns that 60 percent of employers are having a hard time finding qualified workers, and that of 65 education systems worldwide, American students rank only 27th in math and 20th in science.

“STEM education must be elevated as a national priority,” the group recommends. “Our nation’s future economic prosperity,” they say, “is closely linked with student success in the STEM fields.”

I agree. This is a serious matter. But what about our moral and ethical security? Many in academia and government in these budget-cutting times are joining the stampede to emphasize STEM education at the expense of the humanities. And Washington Post columnist Fareed Zakaria says that’s short-sighted. “Technical chops are just one ingredient needed for innovation and economic success,” Zakaria says. “No matter how strong your math and science skills are, you still need to know how to learn, think and even write.” Studies show that subjects such as literature, philosophy, and ethics actually improve STEM performance! Truly, man does not live by math alone.

While STEM subjects are necessary to our national well-being, subjects such as history, philosophy, the arts, and, yes, theology—which, after all, used to be known as “the queen of the sciences”—are vital to our spiritual well-being. While the former can provide us with facts and information, the latter supply us with meaning and wisdom.

Continue reading BreakPoint – Man Does Not Live by Math Alone: the Importance of the Humanities for Our Spiritual Education

Joyce Meyer – God’s Delight

May those who delight in my vindication shout for joy and gladness; may they always say, “The Lord be exalted, who delights in the well-being of his servant.” —Psalm 35:27 NIV

When you are waiting for your needs to be met, don’t fall into the trap of thinking you are being punished for something you have done wrong in your life. God is merciful, He is good, and He wants your needs to be met. He wants you to have a good job, a decent place to live, transportation to get you where you need to go, good friends, and a great spiritual life.

God wants you to be blessed in every area of your life—spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically, financially, and socially.

There are times when we have to wait for the things we want and need, and we should trust God during these times and remain emotionally stable while we are waiting. We all have to wait for things that we want in life. Trust God to be your Vindicator because only He can make wrong things right, and He does so at the right time.

Continue reading Joyce Meyer – God’s Delight

The Navigators – Jerry Bridges – Holiness Day by Day Devotional – Holy and Assured

Today’s Scripture: Romans 8:14

“All who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.”

Holiness is necessary for our assurance of salvation—not at the moment of salvation, but over the course of our lives. True faith will always show itself by its fruits. “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

I recall a young man, a fairly new Christian, whose father was visiting him. He hadn’t seen his father for several years and not since he’d become a Christian. He was eager to share his newfound faith with his dad, and we prayed together that he might be an effective witness to his father.

Continue reading The Navigators – Jerry Bridges – Holiness Day by Day Devotional – Holy and Assured

The Navigators – Jerry Bridges – Holiness Day by Day Devotional – The Peril of Comparing

Today’s Scripture: 2 Corinthians 10:12

“When they . . . compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.”

We constantly see believers around us who seem more blessed by God than we are. Some are more gifted in spiritual abilities; others always succeed with little effort; others seem to have few problems or concerns. Probably none of us is exempt from the temptation to envy someone else’s blessings and secretly grumble at God, or even charge him with rank injustice, for giving another person more in some way than he has given us.

Continue reading The Navigators – Jerry Bridges – Holiness Day by Day Devotional – The Peril of Comparing

The Navigators – Jerry Bridges – Holiness Day by Day Devotional – Propitiation? What’s That?

Today’s Scripture: 1 John 2:2

“He is the propitiation for our sins.”

The Bible uses a strange word to describe what Christ did for us when he drank the cup of God’s wrath in our place: propitiation.

What does propitiation mean? I believe that the word exhausted forcefully captures the essence of Jesus’ work of propitiation. Jesus exhausted the wrath of God. He bore the full, unmitigated brunt of it. God’s wrath against sin was unleashed in all its fury on his beloved Son. He held nothing back.

Isaiah foretold this: “We esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities” (Isaiah 53:4-5). The italicized words describe the pouring out of God’s wrath on his Son. During those awful hours when Jesus hung on the cross, the cup of God’s wrath was turned upside down. Christ exhausted God’s wrath. For all who trust in him, there is nothing more in the cup. It is empty.

Continue reading The Navigators – Jerry Bridges – Holiness Day by Day Devotional – Propitiation? What’s That?

John MacArthur – Strength for Today – Biblical Patience

“Walk . . . with patience” (Ephesians 4:1-2).

Patient Christians endure negative circumstances, cope with difficult people, and accept God’s plan for everything.

In our instant, microwave, drive-through, “I want it now” culture, patience is hard to come by. We get upset if we have to wait too long in the supermarket line or get stuck behind the guy driving ten miles per hour under the speed limit.

But today’s Scripture tells us that our lives need to be marked by patience. The Greek word translated “patience” literally means “long-tempered.” A patient person doesn’t have a short fuse or lose his temper.

There are three aspects to biblical patience. First, patience never gives in to negative circumstances, no matter how difficult. God told Abraham He would make him into a great nation and give Canaan to his descendants (Gen. 12:2, 7). When God made this promise, Abraham and Sarah had no children. They had to wait far past their childbearing years before God gave them a son. But Hebrews 6:15 says, “Having patiently waited, [Abraham] obtained the promise.” “He did not waver in unbelief, but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God” (Rom. 4:20). He trusted God and patiently waited for Him to fulfill His promise.

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Our Daily Bread — Hold On!

Read: Revelation 3:7-13

Bible in a Year: Genesis 29-30; Matthew 9:1-17

I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have. —Revelation 3:11

A cowboy friend of mine who grew up on a ranch in Texas has a number of colorful sayings. One of my favorites is “It don’t take much water to make good coffee.” And when someone ropes a steer too big to handle or is in some kind of trouble, my friend will shout, “Hold everything you’ve got!” meaning “Help is on the way! Don’t let go!”

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BreakPoint – Soul Mates: Bad Theology, False Expectations, and Deep Disappointment

 

Ronald Reagan once quipped that the trouble with his political opponents, “is not that they are ignorant. It’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.”

Well, I’ve had a bee in my bonnet for years over something that far too many of my fellow Christians believe in that just isn’t so. I speak, gentle listener, of the whole “soul mate” nonsense, especially when it comes to finding a husband or wife.

Let me be perfectly clear: No matter how many ads for Christian dating services you hear or trendy books you read, we simply don’t have “soul mates,” at least as our confused culture understands that term. Does this surprise you? It shouldn’t. Look for that concept, by the way, in the Bible, and the only thing you can find remotely close to it is the fierce friendship of David and Jonathan. “Jonathan made a covenant with David,” Scripture says, “because he loved him as his own soul.”

Now those are soul mates, friends. But the Bible knows nothing of romantic “soul mates.” This concept is more New Age than Christian. The Huffington Post gives nine signs that you’ve found your soul mate, the first one being: “You communicate without speaking.” Okay. One New Age website, however, gives three signs you’ve “definitely” found your soul mate: “You just connect without trying,” “Your level of communication is unmatched,” and “You create your own world together.”

That’s cute, it’s nice, maybe it’s even romantic . . . but it’s certainly not biblical.

Continue reading BreakPoint – Soul Mates: Bad Theology, False Expectations, and Deep Disappointment

Charles Stanley – The Ultimate Giver

 

Romans 11:33-36

Amid all the preparations, decorations, and celebrations of the Christmas season, we need to set aside some quiet time to reflect upon the divine gifts that forever changed the course of human destiny. When that tiny baby entered our world in Bethlehem, the first of never-ending blessings was unleashed from heaven.

We generally focus on the Father’s gift: He gave His Son to be the Savior of the world (1 John 4:14). What we don’t often realize is that all three members of the Trinity have a part in this divine display of generosity, which continues into eternity. Jesus came to offer His life as a ransom for many. After His death and resurrection, He and the Father sent the Holy Spirit to live inside believers forever (Mark 10:45; John 14:16; John 16:7). The Spirit in turn gives spiritual gifts to all believers and produces His marvelous fruit in their lives (1 Cor. 12:7-11; Gal. 5:22-23).

The divine presents don’t end on earth. They continue in heaven when the Lord judges Christians and grants them rewards for good works that they could never have accomplished apart from His strength (1 Cor. 3:13-14; John 15:5). All the credit and glory belong to Him, and yet He graciously showers praise on His followers (1 Cor. 4:5).

We serve a caring, generous God. Think about the nonstop outpouring of blessings from His throne. Consider the many gifts He has freely given you and your loved ones, and ask, How will I respond today? He needs nothing from you, but He wants every part of you—not to control you but to show you the “surpassing riches of His grace in kindness” (Eph. 2:4-7).

Bible in One Year: 1 John 1-5

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Chosen to be Glorified

 

“And having chosen us, He called us to come to Him; and when we came, He declared us ‘not guilty,’ filled us with Christ’s goodness, gave us right standing with Himself, and promised us His glory” (Romans 8:30).

A famous Christian leader insisted to me that anyone could lose his salvation. I asked him if he felt that he would ever lose his. Quickly, he replied, “Absolutely not. I am sure I will not lose my salvation.”

Can we lose our salvation? Personally, I believe there is too much controversy over this issue. Some fear that the individual who has assurance of salvation and knows that he will spend eternity with God might have a tendency to compromise his conduct, which would result in disobedience to God and would be an insult to Christ and His church. Others think that the individual who does not live like a Christian – although he professes faith in Christ – has never experienced the new birth, does not have eternal life and will be forever separated from God.

It is quite likely that the person who insists on “doing his own thing” – going his own way while professing to be a Christian – is deceived and should be encouraged to look into the mirror of God’s Word. For if his salvation is real, the evidence should proclaim it.

The caterpillar which goes through a metamorphosis to become a butterfly, lives like a butterfly, not a caterpillar. In the same way, the man or woman who has experienced new life in Christ will witness to it in his life.

Our beginning Scripture deals with seven marvelous truths:

  1. He chose us.
  2. He called us.
  3. We came.
  4. He declared us not guilty.
  5. He filled us with Christ’s goodness.
  6. He gave us a right standing with Himself.
  7. He promised us His glory.

For centuries, man has been mystified by predestination and eternal security. One famous theologian put it this way: “How would it be a source of consolation to say…that whom God foreknew, He predestinated, and whom he predestinated, He called, and whom He called, He justified, and whom He justified might fall away and be lost forever?”

We should praise and worship God because of His promises to all who receive Him that He will never leave them nor forsake them (Hebrews 13:5).

Bible Reading: Ephesians 1:3-6

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will meditate upon the truths in this marvelous Word from God. And as an expression of my gratitude for the privilege of living a supernatural life, I will praise and thank God constantly for His goodness and will encourage other believers to do the same

Ravi Zacharias Ministry –  Eye of the Kingdom

 

The first time I left the United States, I was traveling as a student in the Middle East. Like many who leave home only to learn as much about their own culture as the one they have journeyed to, I quickly found myself a student of much more than language, history, and religion. So often it is in the experience of life outside your familiar world that the first glimpses of your own worldview come into focus. I was soon troubled by the previously unconsidered thought of how much my environment shaped my understanding of the world, life, faith, and God. Everything suddenly seemed so much more complicated than it was before.

Though the questions dredged up within this new world would plague my thought-life for years to come, the experience was eventually eye-opening. But in the midst of it, I was an inconsolable muddle of doubt. Did I really know anything authentically? Could anyone really know that God is real? And if this was the land of Christ’s beginnings, where were all of the Christians? On a particularly despairing day of questions, I went to the library bemoaning my loss of simplicity and hoping for some clarity in the trusted form of words. I gathered a few philosophy books and papers on early Christianity and sat down to read. It was at this library and in the midst of this frustrated morning when I met a monk named Petri.

Petri listened to my troubled doubts about the God I thought I knew and the world that seemed so full of people contradicting this knowledge, seeing other gods, or attesting to contrary information. He responded with gentle questioning: Could God not be a greater mystery than what fills the small places you hold in mind? Did Christ come to bring ease or help or answers? Or was truth the measure, in the form of a person? And then he told me not to despair of a complicated world, but to pray instead to see. “The world of souls is a mysterious place after all. But where you see an eye of the kingdom, rejoice. For God is near.”

At the time, it was a comfort (and a Finnish monk in Jerusalem was an unlikely comforter) to hear a fellow believer remind me that God is beyond my ability to make logical sense of everything, while affirming that God who came near in spirit and truth wills to be known even today. But as I struggled under the weight of a crumbling worldview, I don’t think I fully realized the relief his words offered—like pillars to a faltering house—until I returned to the gospel I had doubted.

Petri was quoting Jesus. To a crowd full of many perspectives, opinions, and creeds, Jesus spoke of eyes and light. He told a group of religious men that outward religion was not enlightening, but the truth and true love of God illumines the whole person. “Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are good, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are bad, your body also is full of darkness. See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness” (Luke 11:34-35).

Into a world of complex religious practices, differing religious philosophies, and intermingling religious beliefs Jesus came and called to those with ears to hear and eyes to see. He gently but completely crumbled worldviews and crushed expectations. Some responded with closed minds and hearts. Others were made to see.

In our complicated world, Jesus is still the light that shines in the darkness, and he is still not overcome. His light shines even in the most unlikely of places and in the darkest corners of life. Even when a worldview is crumbling, he is calling the viewer to a greater kingdom and to eyes that will truly see. Today, wherever you find the light of his truth, a kindred soul, or an eye of the kingdom, rejoice. For God is near.

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

Alistair Begg – A Lofty Doctrine

 

I chose you out of the world. John 15:19

Here is distinguishing grace and discriminating regard, for some are made the special objects of divine affection. Do not be afraid to dwell upon this lofty doctrine of election. When your mind is heavy and depressed, you will find it to be a spiritual tonic. Those who doubt the doctrines of grace or who throw them into the shadows miss the richest clusters of grapes; they lose the best wines, the choice food.

There is no balm in Gilead comparable to it. If the honey in Jonathan’s wood when simply touched illumined the eyes, this is honey that will illumine your heart as you love and learn the mysteries of the kingdom of God. You must feed on this; live upon this choice provision, and do not be afraid that it will prove too delicate a diet. Meat from the King’s table will hurt none of His servants. Desire to have your mind enlarged, that you may comprehend more and more of the eternal, everlasting, discriminating love of God.

When you have soared as high as election, linger on its twin peak, the covenant of grace. Covenant engagements are the mighty fortresses behind which we lie entrenched; covenant engagements with our Savior, Christ Jesus, are the quiet resting-places of trembling spirits.

His oath, His covenant, His blood,

Support me in the raging flood;

When every earthly prop gives way,

This still is all my strength and stay.

If Jesus undertook to bring me to glory, and if the Father promised that He would give me to the Son to be a part of the infinite reward of the travail of His soul, then, my soul, until God Himself shall be unfaithful, until Jesus shall cease to be the truth, you are safe. When David danced before the ark, he told Michal that election made him do so. Come, my soul, dance before the God of grace, and let your heart leap for joy!

The Family Bible Reading Plan

  • 2 Kings 9
  • 1 Timothy 6

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

John MacArthur – Avoiding Spiritual Deception

 

“All Scripture is . . . profitable for . . . reproof” (2 Tim. 3:16).

Scripture is the standard by which you must measure all teaching.

In November of 1978, United States Representative Leo Ryan of California visited the People’s Temple (a California- based cult) in Guyana. He went to investigate reports that some of the people were being held there against their will. The world was shocked to learn that the congressman and his party had been ambushed and killed.

Even more shocking was the grim discovery that followed a few days later. Authorities who entered the compound at Jonestown, Guyana were horrified to find the bodies of 780 cult members who had been shot or had committed suicide by drinking cyanide-laced punch. Their leader, the Reverend Jim Jones, was found lying near the altar—dead from a single bullet wound to the head.

For many, it was the first time they had witnessed the deadly effect of satanic teaching. Editorials and articles for months attempted to explain how such appalling deception and genocide could occur in this day and age. But as tragic as the Jonestown deaths were, most observers missed the greatest tragedy of all: the spiritual damnation that Jim Jones and all other false teachers lead their followers into.

Spiritual deception is a very serious issue to God. That’s why in Scripture He lays down the truth and reproves anything contrary to it. The Greek word translated “reproof” in 2 Timothy 3:16 means to rebuke or confront someone regarding misconduct or false teaching.

If you have a thorough grasp of Scripture, you have a standard by which to measure all teaching. Then you can easily recognize false doctrine and avoid spiritual deception. That’s what John had in mind when he said, “I have written to you, [spiritual] young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one” (1 John 2:14).

False religions will always attempt to distort Scripture because they must eliminate God’s truth before they can justify their own lies. Beware of their subtleties, and be strong in God’s Word.

Suggestions for Prayer

  • Thank the Lord for protecting you from spiritual deception.
  • Pray for anyone you may know who has fallen victim to false teaching. Take every opportunity to impart God’s truth to them.

For Further Study

Read 2 Corinthians 11:1-4, 13-15. How did Paul describe false teachers?

Joyce Meyer – Shake It Off

 

Let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight)…and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us- Hebrews 12:1

One of my favorite stories is about a farmer’s donkey that fell into a dry well. The animal cried pitifully for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do for his poor donkey. Finally, he concluded that the well was too deep, and it really needed to be covered up anyway. Besides, the donkey was old, and it would be a lot of trouble to get him out of the pit. The farmer decided that it was not worth trying to retrieve the animal, so he asked his neighbors to help him fill in the well and bury the donkey.

They all grabbed shovels and began to toss dirt into the well. The donkey immediately realized what was happening, and he began to bray horribly. Crying would be our normal response if somebody was mistreating us this badly, so this donkey was responding the same way we would at first, but then he got real quiet. A few shovel loads of dirt later, the farmer looked down the well and was astonished at what he saw. With every shovel of dirt that hit the donkey’s back, the donkey would shake it off and step on top of it.

As the neighbors and the farmer continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he continued to shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon the donkey shook off the last shovel full of dirt, took a step up, and walked right out of the well. We can learn from this story. When trouble comes, if we will get still and listen, God will tell us what to do. By the grace and mercy of God, I was able to shake off a lot of things in my life, a lot of hurt feelings, a lot of mistreatment, a lot of abuse, a lot of unfair, unjust, unkind things. Just like the donkey, in order to keep pressing on and have victory in our lives, we are going to have to learn to shake off the troubles that come our way.

From the book New Day, New You by Joyce Meyer.

John MacArthur – A Psalm of Sufficiency

 

“The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether.

“They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them Thy servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward.

“Who can discern his errors? Acquit me of hidden faults. Also keep back Thy servant from presumptuous sins; let them not rule over me; then I shall be blameless, and I shall be acquitted of great transgression.

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer” (Ps. 19:7-14).

God’s Word addresses the soul’s every need.

King David was a man of stark contrasts. He knew the humility of shepherding a flock and the prestige of reigning over a nation. He experienced glorious triumphs and bitter defeats. He sought after God, yet also suffered immense guilt and pain from immorality and murder. That led to even his own son’s seeking to take his life. Some of his psalms reflect great hope and others, despair. But through it all he continued to look to God, being assured of God’s sovereignty and the sufficiency of His divine resources.

In Psalm 19 David penned the most monumental statement ever made on the sufficiency of Scripture. As we study it in the days ahead, keep in mind that every need of your soul or inmost being is ultimately spiritual, and God has supplied sufficient resources to meet those needs completely. That was David’s confidence. May it be yours as well.

Suggestions for Prayer

Throughout our study of Psalm 19, ask God to give you fresh insights that will enable you appreciate and rest more fully in His gracious provisions.

For Further Study

Reread Psalm 19:1-14.

  • What terms did David use for God’s Word?
  • What benefits does the Word bring to believers?
  • Are you enjoying those benefits?

Charles Spurgeon – England’s ills and sorrows

 

“Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!” Jeremiah 9:1

Suggested Further Reading: Luke 19:37-44

As ye stand on any of the hills around, and behold this monstrous city lying in the valley, say, “O London, London! how great thy guilt. Oh! that the Master would gather thee under his wing, and make thee his city, the joy of the whole earth! O London, London! Full of privileges, and full of sin; exalted to heaven by the gospel, thou shalt be cast down to hell by thy rejection of it!” And then, when ye have wept over London, go and weep over the street in which you live, as you see the sabbath broken, and God’s laws trampled upon, and men’s bodies profaned—go and weep! Weep, for the court in which you live in your humble property; weep for the square in which you live in your magnificent wealth; weep for your neighbours and your friends, lest any of them, having lived godless, may die godless! Then go to your house, weep for your family, for your servants, for your husband, for your wife, for your children. Weep, weep; cease not weeping, till God has renewed them by his Spirit. And if you have any friends with whom you sinned in your past life, be earnest for their salvation. George Whitefield said there were many young men with whom he played at cards, and spent hours wasting his time when he should have been about other business. When he was converted, his first thought was, “I must by God’s grace have these converted too.” And he never rested, till he could say, that he did not know of one of them, a companion of his guilt, who was not now a companion with him in the tribulation of the gospel. Oh, let it be so with you!

For meditation: “Jesus wept” for others; “How he loved” (John 11:35,36). What message do your tears or lack of tears convey about you?

Sermon no. 150

6 September (1857)

Greg Laurie – In the Fourth Watch

 

Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. —Matthew 14:25

In the Gospels we find a story about Jesus sending His disciples across the Sea of Galilee. As they went on their way, they hit a huge storm that was so severe, they thought they would drown.

Meanwhile, Jesus had gone up on a mountain to spend some time in prayer. No doubt He could see His disciples, but they couldn’t see Him. And they were thinking it was all over.

Then we read that “in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea” (Matthew 14:25). Why did Jesus go to them in the fourth watch? Why didn’t He come right away, when the storm got bad? Or why didn’t He at least go out to them during the second or third watch? Yet Jesus went to them in the fourth watch—at the very end, effectively—after they had been battling the waves for up to nine hours.

Why do you think Jesus waited so long? I think He wanted them to exhaust their resources and realize there was no way out but through Him. And sometimes life goes that way. Something traumatic happens. Something that seems unbearable happens. We say, “How am I going to get through this? If God doesn’t come through for me, I am dead in the water.”

Actually, that is not such a bad place to be. As a friend of mine named Alan Redpath used to say that when we get to the end of ourselves, we get to the beginning of God.

Have you come to the end of yourself? Maybe, like the disciples, you’re experiencing an epic storm. Maybe you’re facing a crisis or a hardship. And maybe you’re thinking you won’t get through it. I have good news for you: Jesus always shows up.

 

Presidential Prayer Team; H.L.M. – Heavenly Invitation

 

Imagine seeing a glimpse of Heaven! The disciple John had that opportunity. As a result of his relationship with the Lord, God chose to give John a vision to open the door to Heaven. John didn’t have to knock on that door. He didn’t have to push it open. The door was opened from the inside with His Heavenly Father encouraging him to enter. In the book of Revelation, John describes Heaven with God on the throne and orchestrating all the events that he will record as an encouragement to all believers.

Behold, a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice…said, “I will show you what must take place.”

Revelation 4:1

Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” God extends the same invitation for you to see Heaven every day. Prayer is the window that He has placed in the walls of your world. When you open that window, you enter the throne room of God.

Intercede for your nation’s leaders today. Pray they will experience His incredible presence and be transformed by His majesty.

Recommended Reading: Isaiah 6:1-7

Charles Spurgeon – Law and grace

 

“Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” Romans 5:20

Suggested Further Reading: 2 Peter 3:10-14

There has always been the salt of grace in the world to counteract the power of sin. The clouds have never been so universal as to hide the day. But the time is fast approaching when grace shall extend all over our poor world and be universal. According to the Bible testimony, we look for the great day when the dark cloud which has swathed this world in darkness shall be removed, and it shall shine once more like all its sister planets. It has been for many a long year clouded and veiled by sin and corruption; but the last fire shall consume its rags and sackcloth. After that fire, the world in righteousness shall shine. The huge molten mass now slumbering in the bowels of our common mother shall furnish the means of purity. Palaces, and crowns, and peoples, and empires, are all to be melted down; and after, like a plague-house, the present creation has been burned up entirely, God will breathe upon the heated mass, and it will cool down again. He will smile on it as he did when he first created it, and the rivers will run down the new made hills, the oceans will float in new-made channels; and the world will be again the abode of the righteous for ever and for ever. This fallen world will be restored to its orbit; that gem which was lost from the sceptre of God shall be set again, yea, he shall wear it as a signet about his arm. Christ died for the world; and what he died for, he will have. He died for the whole world, and the whole world he will have, when he has purified and cleansed it, and fitted it for himself. “Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound;” for grace shall be universal, whereas sin will be destroyed.

For meditation: The believer’s sure and certain hope of being freed completely from the presence of sin then, is a strong motive for seeking to be as free as possible from it now (1 John 3:2,3).

Sermon no. 37

26 August (1855)