Tag Archives: romans

Our Daily Bread – Who’s The Boss?

 

 

Sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.  —Romans 6:14

 

Read: Romans 6:1-14
Bible in a Year: Leviticus 4-5; Matthew 24:29-51

As my wife was babysitting our two young grandsons, they began to argue over a toy. Suddenly, the younger (by 3 years) forcefully ordered his older brother, “Cameron, go to your room!” Shoulders slumped under the weight of the reprimand, the dejected older brother began to slink off to his room when my wife said, “Cameron, you don’t have to go to your room. Nathan’s not the boss of you!” That realization changed everything, and Cam, smiling, sat back down to play.

As followers of Christ, the reality of our brokenness and our inclination to sin can assume a false authority much like that younger brother. Sin noisily threatens to dominate our hearts and minds, and the joy drains from our relationship with the Savior.

But through the death and resurrection of Christ, that threat is an empty one. Sin has no authority over us. That is why Paul wrote, “For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace” (Rom. 6:14).

While our brokenness is very real, Christ’s grace enables us to live in a way that pleases God and expresses His transforming power to the world. Sin is no longer our boss. We now live in the grace and presence of Jesus. His dominion in our lives releases us from the bondage of sin. —Bill Crowder

Thank You for Your grace, Lord, that cleanses us inside. Your grace is greater than all our sin. We know we can’t live without it. And we’re grateful that we don’t have to.

God pursues us in our restlessness, receives us in our sinfulness, holds us in our brokenness. —Scotty Smith

INSIGHT: Previously in Romans, Paul has been teaching about our redemption and justification—how through faith in Jesus Christ, God made us right with Him (3:21–4:25). Paul now deals with another aspect of our salvation—sanctification (Rom. 6:1–8:39). Because we have been given a new life and a new relationship with God (6:4-14), He expects us to live differently and to mature in holiness.

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Abundant, Supernatural Life

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“Even so, consider yourself to be dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:11, NAS).

My friend Randy had given up on the Christian life. He said, “I have tried, but failed so many times; nothing seems to work. God doesn’t hear my prayers, and I am tired of trying. I’ve read the Bible, prayed, memorized Scripture, and gone to church. But there is no joy and I don’t see any purpose in continuing a life of shame and hypocrisy, pretending I am something that I’m not.”

After listening to his account of his many failures and defeats, I began to explain the ministry of the Holy Spirit. He interrupted me with, “I know all about the Holy Spirit. I’ve read everything I can find, everything you and others have written – and nothing works for me.”

My thoughts turned to Romans, chapter 6. I asked him, “Randy, are you sure you’re a Christian?”

“Yes,” he answered. “I’m sure.”

“How do you know?”

“By faith,” he responded. “The Scripture promises, ‘For by grace are you saved through faith, that not of yourselves, it’s a gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast.’ I know I’m saved.”

“Why,” I asked him, “do you trust God for your salvation, but do not believe in His other promises concerning your rights as a child of God?”

I began to read from Romans 6 and reminded Randy that every believer has available to him the mighty, supernatural power of the risen Christ. With the enabling of the Holy Spirit, the believer can live that supernatural life simply by claiming his rights through an act of his will. The same Holy Spirit who inspired Ephesians 2:8 and 9 inspired Romans 6, and, by faith, we can claim that sin no longer has control over us and that the mighty power of the resurrection is available as promised.

That day, God touched Randy’s life, his spiritual eyes were opened and he began, by faith, to live in accordance with his God-given heritage.

Bible Reading: Romans 6:12-18

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Today, by faith, I will claim the truths of Romans 6. As an act of my will, I surrender the members of my body as instruments of righteousness unto God, to live that abundant, supernatural life, which is my heritage in Christ. Enabled by the Holy Spirit, I will encourage other believers to claim their kingdom rights, and non-believers to join this adventure with the risen Savior

Our Daily Bread — What Love Is

Our Daily Bread

Romans 5:1-8

God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. —Romans 5:8

Years ago I asked a young man who was engaged to be married, “How do you know that you love her?” It was a loaded question, intended to help him look at his heart’s motives for the upcoming marriage. After several thoughtful moments, he responded, “I know I love her because I want to spend the rest of my life making her happy.”

We discussed what that meant—and the price tag attached to the selflessness of constantly seeking the best for the other person, rather than putting ourselves first. Real love has a lot to do with sacrifice.

That idea is in line with the wisdom of the Bible. In the Scriptures there are several Greek words for love but the highest form is agape love—love that is defined and driven by self-sacrifice. Nowhere is this more true than in the love our heavenly Father has shown us in Christ. We are deeply valued by Him. Paul stated, “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8).

If sacrifice is the true measure of love, there could be no more precious gift than Jesus: “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son” (John 3:16 NLT). —Bill Crowder

Amazing love!

How can it be

That Thou, my God,

Shouldst die for me? —Wesley

The measure of love is what you are willing to give up for it.

Bible in a year: Jeremiah 22-23; Titus 1

Insight

As a result of Christ’s sacrifice, Paul mentions two great benefits for the follower of Christ. In verse 1, he says that we have “peace with God,” an idea that he unpacks in Philippians 4, where we read of the incomprehensible peace of God, but also the relationship we have with the God of peace Himself (vv.8-9). In Romans 5:2, Paul also declares that we now have “access” to God. This was a stunning idea that he explained more fully in Colossians 1:21, “And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled.” We receive the gifts of peace with God and access to God because of Christ’s loving sacrifice on our behalf.

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Abundant, Supernatural Life

dr_bright

“Even so, consider yourself to be dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:11, NAS).

My friend Randy had given up on the Christian life. He said, “I have tried, but failed so many times; nothing seems to work. God doesn’t hear my prayers, and I am tired of trying. I’ve read the Bible, prayed, memorized Scripture, and gone to church. But there is no joy and I don’t see any purpose in continuing a life of shame and hypocrisy, pretending I am something that I’m not.”

After listening to his account of his many failures and defeats, I began to explain the ministry of the Holy Spirit. He interrupted me with, “I know all about the Holy Spirit. I’ve read everything I can find, everything you and others have written – and nothing works for me.”

My thoughts turned to Romans, chapter 6. I asked him, “Randy, are you sure you’re a Christian?”

“Yes,” he answered. “I’m sure.”

“How do you know?”

“By faith,” he responded. “The Scripture promises, ‘For by grace are you saved through faith, that not of yourselves, it’s a gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast.’ I know I’m saved.”

“Why,” I asked him, “do you trust God for your salvation, but do not believe in His other promises concerning your rights as a child of God?”

I began to read from Romans 6 and reminded Randy that every believer has available to him the mighty, supernatural power of the risen Christ. With the enabling of the Holy Spirit, the believer can live that supernatural life simply by claiming his rights through an act of his will. The same Holy Spirit who inspired Ephesians 2:8 and 9 inspired Romans 6, and, by faith, we can claim that sin no longer has control over us and that the mighty power of the resurrection is available as promised.

That day, God touched Randy’s life, his spiritual eyes were opened and he began, by faith, to live in accordance with his God-given heritage.

Bible Reading: Romans 6:12-18

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Today, by faith, I will claim the truths of Romans 6. As an act of my will, I surrender the members of my body as instruments of righteousness unto God, to live that abundant, supernatural life, which is my heritage in Christ. Enabled by the Holy Spirit, I will encourage other believers to claim their kingdom rights, and non-believers to join this adventure with the risen Savior

 

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Living the Godly Life

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“As God’s messenger I give each of you God’s warning: Be honest in your estimate of yourselves, measuring your value by how much faith God has given you” (Romans 12:3).

A newly appointed director of affairs for our ministry came to me for counsel after being given his assignment. “Tell me,” he inquired, “what are the biggest problems that I will encounter in my new area of responsibility?”

“Three major ones,” I responded. “First, pride, the problem that causes Satan to seek a place of authority over God Himself, resulting in his expulsion from the heavenly kingdom. Since creation, man’s greatest problem has been pride – thinking more highly of oneself than one ought to think.

“Your second problem will be materialism – the desire to accumulate wealth, to live the good life, to keep up with the Joneses with better houses, cars, clothes, and security.

“And the third problem will be sex, the temptation to immorality. Man’s second greatest drive after self-perservation is sex. In the marriage bond, sex is one of the most beautiful of the God-given privileges. But out of marriage, it results in grieving and quenching the Spirit and, ultimately, in the discipline of God. Therefore, be faithful to the wife that God has given you and love her as Christ loved the church (Ephesians 5:25).

“Keep yourself humble by God’s power. Seek the simple life and be motivated and constrained by the love of God for the souls of men, rather than for the good things of this world.”

 

This is my counsel to all of our staff. It is my message to all Christian leaders and to all who seek to live godly lives.

The highways and byways of the world are littered with men and women of great talent and ability who are no longer being used of God. The fire has gone out of their hearts; the smile is gone from their faces. They harvest no fruit for the kingdom. They have fallen, thinking more highly of themselves than they ought to think, after the example of Satan, the author of pride.

God’s Word admonishes us to think soberly, wisely, prudently and modestly. The faith which we each have is a gift from God, measure by Him. That fact alone should produce in you and me a true, humility, changing any feeling of pride to one of gratitude. The truly humble person regards God as the source of all blessings.

Bible Reading: Ephesians 4:1-6

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: When the temptation comes to think more highly of myself than I ought to think, with God’s help I will remember that everything I have is a gift of His grace. I will humble myself before God and man and, by faith, live a supernatural, godly life, dedicated to the extension of His kingdom

 

Greg Laurie – Standing By

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What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? —Romans 8:31

We tend to think that when we are in the will of God, the doors should fly open, birds should be singing, the sun should be shining, and everyone should be applauding. But it doesn’t always work that way. Sometimes when we are in the will of God, so-called bad things happen. They seem bad, but in reality they might actually be good things.

I think sometimes that what we define as good may in fact be bad. And some of the things we think of as bad in turn will ultimately turn out to be good.

Acts 23:11 tells us that while Paul was in prison in Jerusalem, “The following night the Lord stood by him and said, ‘Be of good cheer, Paul; for as you have testified for Me in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness at Rome.’ ”

Here is what God was saying: “Paul, look. I told you what was going to happen, and you went for it. And I want you to know that you are doing what I wanted you to do.” You see, when a person is really walking with the Lord, it will impact other people. It will cause a reaction.

Paul felt that God wanted him to go to Jerusalem. The prophet Agabus warned him that if he went there, he would be arrested. Other believers begged him not to go. But Paul said, “What do you mean by weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus” (Acts 21:13).

So Paul went to Jerusalem, and sure enough, he was arrested and found himself in a prison cell. Yet God still had a future for Paul. And guess what? God has a future for you, too.

 

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

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“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:

He chose us.

He called us.

We came.

He declared us not guilty.

He filled us with Christ’s goodness.

He gave us a right standing with Himself.

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

 

Presidential Prayer Team; G.C. – Suffering

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It’s a bittersweet reality. People suffers. There is no one on Earth with enough money, power or prestige to delegate their share of life’s grief. The tabloids are rife with the stories of the celebrated, rich and powerful trying to buy peace of mind; yet they, too, still suffer from calamity and misfortune.

But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake…have no fear of them, nor be troubled.

I Peter 3:14

The Bible has a lot to say about earthly sorrow. Interestingly, Jesus says suffering as a believer is not to be feared or avoided. Why? Suffering causes you to develop endurance in your faith, and that enduring faithful strength produces a Christ-like character in your life. The ultimate outcome of character in life is hope. Miraculously, when a believer in Jesus suffers, the end result is hope!

If you are enduring difficulties today, be assured it is not pointless misery. Every tear you shed is known by your loving Father. Some sorrow will be redeemed in this life on Earth, transformed into a soulful peace. Other travail will be counted as righteousness to your soul and exchanged for joy in Heaven. Regardless of your situation, don’t fear; the One who called you by name will, by His name, redeem all pain.

Recommended Reading: Romans 5:1-8

 

 

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – You Will Be Saved

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“For if you tell others with your own mouth that Jesus Christ is your Lord, and believe in your own heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).

Many years ago, God clearly led me in the preparation, planning and production of a little booklet called the Four Spiritual Laws. Still widely used today, its volume of copies to date might well be second only to the Bible itself. More than a billion copies have been distributed and one can reasonably conclude that many millions have received Christ as a result of reading its message.

In something so succinct, it of course was impossible to include all of the appropriate Scriptures under each of the four laws. This verse for today, Romans 10:9, is one of those that might have been used with the Law Four, for it fits in well with the wording:

“We must individually receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; then we can know and experience God’s love and plan for our lives.”

The three passages used (John 1:12; Ephesians 2:8,9; Revelation 3:20) clearly direct the seeker after God. And of course this verse in Romans clearly confirms all that the other passages affirm.

Two conditions precede salvation, the apostle Paul is saying to the church in Rome: (1) “Tell others with your own mouth that Jesus Christ is your Lord,” and (2) “Believe in your own heart that God has raised Him from the dead.” Simple, yet significant and meaningful, are these two preparatory steps.

As you share your faith with others today and in the days to come, recall with joy these two simple conditions that must be met.

Bible Reading: Romans 10:8-13

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: “Dear Lord, I thank You with all of my heart for the simplicity of the gospel and, with the enabling of the Holy Spirit, I will share this good news with all who will listen.”

 

 

Our Daily Bread — Loving And Knowing

Our Daily Bread

Romans 5:6-11

God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. —Romans 5:8

In a novel by Jonathan Safran Foer, one of the characters, speaking of New York’s Empire State Building, said, “I know this building because I love this building.”

That statement caused me to think about the relationship between love and knowledge. Whenever we love something, we want to know everything about it. When we love a place, we want to explore every inch of it. When we love a person, we want to know every detail of his or her life. We want to know what he likes, how she spends her time, where he grew up, who her friends are, what he believes. The list is endless. But some of us want to be loved without allowing ourselves to be known. We’re afraid that we won’t be loved if we are truly known.

We don’t have to worry about that with God. His love is far superior to ours: “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). Furthermore, He makes Himself known to us. Through creation, Scripture, and Christ, God reveals His character and His love. Because God loves us in spite of our imperfections, we can safely confess our faults to Him. With God, we need not fear being known. That’s why to know God is to love Him. —Julie Ackerman Link

Be still and know that He is God

For pathways steep and rough,

Not what He brings, but what He is

Will always be enough. —Anon.

There is no greater joy than to know that God loves us.

Bible in a year: Jeremiah 6-8; 1 Timothy 5

 

Charles Spurgeon – Grace reviving Israel

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“I will be as the dew unto Israel: he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon. His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon. They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine: the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon.” Hosea 14:5-7

Suggested Further Reading: Colossians 3:16-4: 1

The most beautiful tree in a garden is the one that bears the most fruit: and there is a promise given to a Christian that after his branches have spread, his beauty shall be as the olive tree; that is, he shall grow and be laden with fruit. The olive tree is evergreen; and so is the beauty of the Christian. Alas for the beautiful Christians we have in some of our places of worship on Sunday! Glorious Christians! If they could be packed up and sent to heaven just as they are, provided their appearances were true indications of their state, what a blessed thing it would be! But alas! On the Monday they have not the same sort of dress they had on Sunday, and therefore they have not the same kind of actions. Dear friends, there is so much Sunday religion in these days! Now, I like a Monday religion, and a Tuesday religion, and a Wednesday religion, and a Thursday religion, and a Friday religion, and a Saturday religion. I do not think the religion of the pulpit, or the religion of the pen, is to be relied upon. I think it is the religion of a draper’s shop, the religion of a corn exchange, religion in a house, religion in the street, and the religion of a fireside, that proves us to be God’s children. But how would some of you come off if you were weighed in these balances? Fine fellows, on Sunday; but poor creatures on Monday! You are not well arrayed then; but ah! If you were Christians, you would always be well arrayed: yes, you would always be as beautiful as the olive tree.

For meditation: God wants us to live the Christian life, not to live the Christian meeting! True worship involves practice as well as praise (Romans 12:1; James 1:26-27).

Sermon no. 342

24 October (Undated Sermon)

 

Alistair Begg – Past, Present, Future

Alistair Begg

‘Do you want to go away as well?’

John 6:67

Many have forsaken Christ and have walked no more with Him; but what reason do you have to make a change? Has there been any reason for it in the past? Has Jesus not proved Himself all-sufficient? He asks you this morning, “Have I been a wilderness to you?” When your soul has simply trusted Jesus, have you ever been defeated? Have you not until now found your Lord to be a compassionate and generous friend to you, and has simple faith in Him not given you all the peace your spirit could desire? Can you even dream of a better friend than He has been to you? Then do not change the old and tried for the new and false.

As for the present, can that compel you to leave Christ? When we are hard-pressed with this world or with the severer trials within the church, we find it a most blessed thing to rest our head upon the shoulder of our Savior. This is the joy we have today-that we are saved in Him; and if this joy is satisfying, why would we think of changing? Who trades gold for dross? We will not renounce the sun until we find a better light, nor leave our Lord until a brighter lover shall appear; and since this can never be, we will hold Him with an immortal grasp and bind His name as a seal upon our arm.

As for the future, can you suggest anything that can arise that will render it necessary for you to mutiny or desert the old flag to serve under another captain? We think not. If life be long, He doesn’t change. If we are poor, what better than to have Christ who can make us rich? When we are sick, what more do we want than Jesus to comfort and to heal? When we die, is it not written that “neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come . . . will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”1 And so we say with Peter, “Lord, to whom shall we go?”2

1Romans 8:38-39

2John 6:68

Charles Stanley – Participating in Great Works Through Prayer

Charles Stanley

John 16:23-24

Divine miracles occur daily: when closed minds open, the spiritually blind suddenly see the gospel’s truth, and rebels surrender and become God’s children. Jesus promised that we who believe can have a part in great works like these by making requests in His name.

Our heavenly Father waits for us to draw near with our big petitions. He looks to see that we are asking based on the merits and reconciling work of Christ, that we have confessed all known sin, and that we firmly believe He’ll do what He has said. In other words, we are not to doubt; our Father wants us to have faith that He will both keep His promises and respond for our good. He delights in giving His children gifts (Matt. 7:11).

God answers our requests when they are in alignment with His plan. And we know He won’t act in a manner inconsistent with His character. So by searching the Scriptures, we can discover whether our desires line up with God’s nature and promises. We might also learn about someone with a similar dilemma, such as: Elisha, who was exhausted and in despair; Ruth and Naomi, who were poor widows in need of the Lord’s help; or David, whose life was in danger. Their interactions with God—and the ways He responded—will provide guidance on how we can speak with our Father about our difficulties. And we can be certain the Holy Spirit will help us (Rom. 8:26).

God alone knows the perfect actions to take and the right time to do so. But He invites us to ask in faith—and to keep on asking (Matt. 7:7 ISV).

 

 

 

Our Daily Bread — The Campaign

Our Daily Bread

Romans 15:1-7

Let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another. —Romans 14:19

Each year young people in our community participate in a “Be Nice” campaign spearheaded by a mental health organization. In one of the events in 2012, 6,000 students spelled out the words BE NICE with their bodies on their schools’ sports fields. One principal said, “We want students to come to school and learn without the distraction of fear or sadness or uneasiness around their peers. We are working hard to make sure students are lifting each other up, rather than tearing each other down.”

Paul desired that the people in the church at Rome would have an even higher standard of love. Both the strong and weak in the faith were judging and showing contempt for each other (Rom. 14:1-12). They despised one another as they argued about what foods were permissible to eat (vv.2-3) and what holidays they should observe (vv.5-6). Paul challenged them: “Let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another” (v.19). He reminded them that their hearts should be concerned with pleasing others, not pleasing themselves. He said, “Even Christ did not please Himself” (15:3); He served.

Join the campaign that loves others despite our differences—you’ll bring praise to God (v.7). —Anne Cetas

Dear Lord, I want to be a person who is

kind and loving to others. Please help me

to use words that will build others up

and bring praise and glory to Your name.

Kindness is simply love flowing out in little gentlenesses.

Bible in a year: Isaiah 65-66; 1 Timothy 2

 

Charles Stanley – Making Big Requests of God

Charles Stanley

John 14:9-14

Jesus often spoke about the role of prayer for the believer and the church. He guaranteed His presence when two or more gather in unity to pray. He also promised to act whenever believers speak to God in the authority of Christ’s name. Jesus taught that God is to be the focus of our petitions, and He showed by example that the basis for ministry is communion with the Father.

If we want God to release His power into a situation, it’s important that we do two things:

First, we must depend solely on Jesus’ merits and mediation. Our new life as children of God began when we acknowledged our helplessness and accepted Christ’s substitutionary death on our behalf (Rom. 5:6). He acted as our mediator and reconciled us to the Father (1 Tim. 2:5). If we want God to do mighty works in and through us, we must continue in that same spirit of dependence on Christ (Gal. 2:20).

Second, we must separate from all known sin. At the cross, when the Savior paid our penalty for transgression, sin’s controlling power over us was broken. However, its presence remains in this world and also lingers in us. Gossip, laziness, gluttony, and selfishness are commonplace occurrences. The remedy for every sin is to confess it to God, turn away from that attitude or behavior, and receive God’s forgiveness and cleansing (1 John 1:9). He uses cleansed vessels.

If we are going to make big requests of God, we must come to Him with clean hearts and hands—that is, solely on the merits of His Son Jesus.

 

 

Charles Spurgeon – The true Christian’s blessedness

CharlesSpurgeon

“We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

Suggested Further Reading: Philemon 4-20

All things work together for the Christian’s eternal and spiritual good. And yet I must say here, that sometimes all things work together for the Christian’s temporal good. You know the story of old Jacob. “Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away; all these things are against me,” said the old patriarch. But if he could have read God’s secrets, he might have found that Simeon was not lost, for he was retained as a hostage—that Joseph was not lost, but gone before to smooth the passage of his grey hairs into the grave, and that even Benjamin was to be taken away by Joseph in love to his brother. So that what seemed to be against him, even in temporal matters, was for him. You may have heard also the story of that eminent martyr who was wont always to say, “All things work together for good.” When he was seized by the officers of Queen Mary, to be taken to the stake to be burned, he was treated so roughly on the road that he broke his leg; and they jeeringly said, “All things work together for good, do they? How will your broken leg work for your good?” “I don’t know,” he said, “but for my good I know it will work, and you shall see it so.” Strange to say, it proved true that it was for his good; for being delayed a day or so on the road through his lameness, he just arrived in London in time enough to hear that Elizabeth was proclaimed queen, and so he escaped the stake by his broken leg. He turned round upon the men who carried him, as they thought, to his death, and said to them, “Now will you believe that all things work together for good?”

For meditation: We are called upon to rejoice in our sufferings, not for their own sake, but because of the outcome (Romans 5:3,4; James 1:2-4). If we, like God, knew the end from the beginning, we would laugh in the midst of our trials, as we shall later (Luke 6:21).

Sermon no. 159

18 October (1857)

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – He Brings You Comfort

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Jesus said, “But I will send you the Comforter – the Holy Spirit, the source of all truth. He will come to you from the Father and will tell you all about Me” (John 15:26).

For years I was among the more than 95 percent of church members who, according to various surveys, are not knowledgeable concerning the person and ministry of the Holy spirit. Then God, in His gracious love and wisdom, showed me how simple it is to release His power into and through my life by faith, just as years before I had received assurance of my salvation by faith.

If I had only one message to proclaim to the Christian world, it would be this: how to know and experience, moment by moment, day by day, the reality of the fullness and power of the Holy Spirit. Everything that has to do with the Christian life involves God the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity.

We are born again through the ministry of the Spirit (John 3). The Holy Spirit inspired men of old to record the holy, inspired Word of God (2 Peter 1:21). Only those who are filled, controlled and empowered with His presence can comprehend what He communicated to those writers centuries ago, which is the message that He has for us today (1 Corinthians 2:14).

We cannot live holy lives apart form the Holy Spirit, for He alone can produce the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22,23) in our lives. We cannot pray intelligently unless the Holy Spirit enable us, for He makes intercession for us with groanings too deep for words (Romans 8:26). We have no power to witness for Christ apart form His power (Acts 1:8). Only the Holy Spirit can enable us to live a supernatural life.

Bible Reading: John 14:16-21

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I determine to learn everything I can about the Holy Spirit. I will refer to the concordance in my Bible and study every reference to Him in the Scriptures, and ask my pastor, or other spiritual leaders in whim I have confidence, to recommend books on the person and ministry of the Holy Spirit. I will not be satisfied with anything less than the love, joy, peace, victory and power that comes from living daily in the fullness of the Holy Spirit.

 

Presidential Prayer Team; J.K. – Passionate to Persuade

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Motivation is that which makes you do what you do? Have you thought about it lately? The student may work for good grades so his chosen college will accept him. Many adults labor just to exist, but others are prompted by fame, power or money.

Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others.

II Corinthians 5:11

Paul wanted the Corinthians to be motivated to please the Lord in this life. Why? Because of a holy fear, a reverent awe, of God. All believers will stand before Christ at the judgment seat. The genuineness of their faith and actions will be revealed and they will be rewarded accordingly. It is this principle that emphasizes that present-day actions have eternal consequences.

But there is more. It relates to your actions toward your fellow man. Know that the unbeliever is lost. That fact should make you passionate to persuade them of the saving faith of the gospel of Jesus. God desires that none should perish. It is your job to spread the Word.

Stand with the distinctive mark of the believer. Pray for all who hear the message of Christ to believe, especially the leaders of this country. Trust God to convict hearts so they are motivated to please Him in all they do.

Recommended Reading: Romans 10:5-17

Max Lucado – God Cares About Justice

Max Lucado

A mother says, I’m so sorry for abandoning you—could we possibly get together?

Her daughter thinks to herself, That’s it?  She wants to get together and I’m supposed to just forgive her?

Seems too easy.  Doesn’t mom need to experience what she gave? Spend a few years wondering if she’ll see her daughter again? Some pain-filled nights? A bit of justice? Isn’t some vengeance in order? Of course it is. God cares about justice more than we do.

In Romans 12:17, Paul tells us to never pay back evil for evil.  Leave that to God, for He has said that he will repay those who deserve it.

We fear the evildoer will slip into the night, unknown and unpunished. Not to worry.  God will repay—not He might repay. God will execute justice on behalf of truth and fairness. Fix your enemies?  That’s God’s job. Forgive your enemies?  Ahh, that’s where you and I come in. We forgive.

From You’ll Get Through This

John MacArthur – Submitting to Divine Authority

John MacArthur

“Listen, O heavens, and hear, O earth; for the Lord speaks” (Isa. 1:2).

We might assume that those who affirm the inspiration, inerrancy, and infallibility of God’s Word would automatically submit to its authority. But that isn’t always the case. Even those who hold to a high view of Scripture may sometimes fail to obey it. We need to be reminded that the authority of God’s Word isn’t simply a doctrine to be affirmed, but a priority to be pursued.

Israel fell into the trap of holding to a high view of Scripture while failing to abide by its statutes. To them Paul said, “If you bear the name ‘Jew,’ and rely upon the Law, and boast in God, and know His will, and approve the things that are essential, being instructed out of the Law, and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, a corrector of the foolish, a teacher of the immature, having in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and of the truth, you, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself?

“You who boast in the Law, through your breaking the Law, do you dishonor God? For ‘the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you'” (Rom. 2:17- 21, 23-24).

Israel’s sin led unbelievers to blaspheme God. That’s analogous to our society in which the Lord is constantly ridiculed because of the sins of His people.

You are the only Bible some unbelievers will ever read, and your life is under scrutiny every day. What do others learn from you? Do they see an accurate picture of your God?

Christians will always be maligned, but let it be for righteousness sake, not sin. As Peter said, “Keep your behavior excellent among [unbelievers], so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may on account of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God” (1 Pet. 2:12).

Suggestions for Prayer:

Confess any areas of your life where you are being disobedient to God’s Word.

Seek His grace and power to live each day as one who truly respects the authority of God’s Word.

For Further Study:

Read 1 Corinthians 10:1-13. What purpose does the Old Testament record of Israel’s punishments serve for us?