TFTD - August 2009
Posted 02 August 2009 - 03:48 AM
"Like a great bell tolling over all the land,
the consistent voice of the sovereign power of God
reverberates throughout Old Testament and New.
He is omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient in this life and the next.
We cannot believe this and also think that our God is no match for the evil of the world."
- Catherine Marshall
"Do not I fill the heavens and the earth? saith the Lord."
Posted 02 August 2009 - 03:52 AM
"This is the beginning of a new day.
God has given me this day to use as I will.
I can waste it - or use it for good,
but what I do today is important,
because I am exchanging a day of my life for it.
When tomorrow comes this day will be gone forever
leaving in its place something that I have traded for it.
I want it to be gain and not loss, good and not evil, success and not failure,
in order that I shall not regret the price that I have paid for it."
- Dr. Heartsill Wilson
"And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents saying,
Lord thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold I have gained beside them five talents more.
His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things,
I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord."
Posted 03 August 2009 - 05:56 AM
"Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can."
- John Wesley
"And do not forget to do good and to share with others,
for with such sacrifices God is pleased."
Posted 04 August 2009 - 10:20 AM
"God knows no distance."
- Chaleszetta Waddles
"So he got up and came to his father.
But while he was still a long way off,
his father saw him and felt compassion for him,
and ran and embraced him and kissed him."
Luke 15:20 (Parable of Prodigal Son)
Posted 05 August 2009 - 11:05 AM
"If I have learned one thing in this life,
it is that God will not tie my shoes without me."
- Doug Boyd
"Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy;
without holiness no one will see the Lord."
Posted 06 August 2009 - 11:09 AM
"Be the first to the field and the last to the couch."
- Chinese Proverb
"But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,
I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."
Posted 07 August 2009 - 11:13 AM
"Fear not tomorrow. God is already there."
- Author Unknown
"Be content with what you have, because God has said,
'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.'
So we say with confidence, 'The Lord is my helper;
I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?'"
Posted 08 August 2009 - 07:07 AM
"If you don't keep walking you will never get where you're going. Don't wait for someone to stop and carry you, you may weigh them down and you both could fall.
When you think the walk is too steep, press on, for there is no mountain that can't be climbed.
When you see someone fall along the way, lend your hand. If someone lends you a hand, reach for it, to help you get back up again.
Hand in hand, together- each one helping the other can make this journey as precious as the place that we are all striving for."
"... he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith."
Posted 09 August 2009 - 11:37 PM
"Did you ever stop to ask what a yoke is really for? Is it to be a burden to the animal which wears it? It is just the opposite: it is to make its burden light. Attached to the oxen in any other way than by a yoke, the plow would be intolerable; worked by means of a yoke, it is light. A yoke is not an instrument of torture; it is an instrument of mercy. It is not a malicious contrivance for making work hard; it is a gentle device to make hard labor light. [Christ] knew the difference between a smooth yoke and a rough one, a bad fit and a good one... The rough yoke galled, and the burden was heavy; the smooth yoke caused no pain, and the load was lightly drawn. The badly fitted harness was a misery; the well fitted collar was "easy". And what was the "burden"? It was not some special burden laid upon the Christian, some unique infliction that they alone must bear. It was what all men bear: it was simply life, human life itself, the general burden of life which all must carry with them from the cradle to the grave. Christ saw that men took life painfully. To some it was a weariness, to others failure, to many a tragedy, to all a struggle and a pain. How to carry this burden of life had been the whole world's problem. And here is Christ's solution: "Carry it as I do. Take life as I take it. Look at it from my point of view. Interpret it upon my principles. Take my yoke and learn of me, and you will find it easy. For my yoke is easy, sits right upon the shoulders, and therefore my burden is light.""
- Henry Drummond, "Pax Vobiscum"
Posted 10 August 2009 - 12:32 PM
"Don't put a question mark where God put a period."
"Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason,
to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh,
a messenger of an adversary to torment me - to keep me from exalting myself!
Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me.
And He has said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.'
Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me."
2 Corinthians 12:7
Posted 11 August 2009 - 08:57 AM
"God doesn't call the qualified,
He qualifies the called."
"May you be strengthened with all power,
according to his glorious might,
for all endurance and patience with joy,
giving thanks to the Father,
who has qualified us to share in the
inheritance of the saints in light."
Posted 12 August 2009 - 11:36 AM
"A perfect wife is one who doesn't expect a perfect husband,
And a perfect husband doesn’t expect a perfect wife."
"Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
However, let each one of you love his wife as himself,
and let the wife see that she respects her husband."
Ephesians 5:21, 33
Posted 14 August 2009 - 01:00 AM
Commands to the Believers
"Abstain from all appearances of evil. 1 Thess. 5:22
Abstain from all fleshly lusts. 1 Pet. 2:11
Avoid troublemakers. Rom. 16:17
Avoid profane and vain babblings. 1 Tim. 6:20
Avoid false science. 1 Tim. 6:20
Avoid foolish questions. Titus 3:9
Avoid arguments about the law. Titus 3:9
Be reconciled to a brother. Matt. 5:24
Be wise as serpents. Matt. 10:16
Be harmless as doves. Matt. 10:16
Be thankful. Col. 3:15
Be patient toward all men. 1 Thess. 5:14; 2 Tim. 2:24
Be ready to give an answer of the hope that is in you. 1 Pet. 3:15
Be transformed. Rom. 12:2
Be patient in tribulation. Rom. 12:12
Be children in [avoiding] malice. 1 Cor. 14:20
Be men in understanding. 1 Cor. 14:20
Be steadfast. 1 Cor. 15:58
Be unmovable. 1 Cor. 15:58
Be always abounding in God’s work. 1 Cor. 15:58
Be of one mind. Rom. 12:16
Be separate from the unclean. 2 Cor. 6:17
Be anxious for nothing. Phil. 4:6
Be an example to other believers. 1 Tim. 4:12
Be gentle to all men. 2 Tim. 2:24
Be ready to teach. 2 Tim. 2:24
Be content with what you have. Heb. 13:5
Be vigilant. 1 Pet. 5:8
Do not be like the hypocrites in prayer. Matt. 6:5
Do not be afraid of men. Luke 12:4
Do not be conformed to this world. Rom. 12:2
Do not be children in understanding. 1 Cor. 14:20
Do not be deceived by evil companions. 1 Cor. 15:33
Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. 2 Cor. 6:14-18
Do not be drunk with wine. Eph. 5:18
Do not be weary in well-doing. 2 Thess. 3:13
Do not be slothful. Heb. 6:12
Do not be influenced by strange doctrines. Heb. 13:9
Beware of false prophets. Matt. 7:15; Phil. 3:2
Beware of [evil] men. Matt. 10:17
Beware of covetousness. Luke 12:15
Beware of backsliding. 2 Pet. 3:17
Do not bid false teachers Godspeed. 2 John 10-11
Bring up children in the Lord. Eph. 6:4
Cast your cares upon God. 1 Pet. 5:7
Have confidence in God. Heb. 10:35
Come out from among the world. 2 Cor. 6:17
Treat others as you expect to be treated. Matt. 7:12
Do all to God’s glory. 1 Cor. 10:31; Col. 3:17, 23
Do all things without murmuring or disputing. Phil. 2:14
Earnestly contend for the faith. Jude 3
Give thanks. Eph. 5:20; Phil. 4:6
Give time to reading. 1 Tim. 4:13
Give no offense. 1 Cor. 10:32
Give freely. 2 Cor. 9:67
Give as God has prospered. 1 Cor. 16:2
Give willingly. 2 Cor. 8:12
Give purposely. 2 Cor. 9:7
Grow in grace. 2 Pet. 3:18
Have no fellowship with darkness. Eph. 5:11
Have compassion. Jude 22
Have a good conscience. 1 Pet. 3:16
Hold forth the Word of life. Phil. 2:16
Hold fast sound words. 2 Tim. 1:13
Honor fathers. Eph. 6:2
Honor mothers. Matt. 19:19
Honor widows. 1 Tim. 5:3
Honor rulers. 1 Pet. 2:17
Lay aside all envy. 1 Pet. 2:1
Lay aside all evil speaking. 1 Pet. 2:1
Do not lay up treasures on earth. Matt. 6:19
Let your light shine. Matt. 5:16
Let everyone deny himself. Matt. 16:24
Let him share with the needy. Luke 3:11
Let everyone obey civil laws. Rom. 13:1
Let no man deceive himself. 1 Cor. 3:18
Let everyone examine himself. 1 Cor. 11:28
Let your requests be made known to God. Phil. 4:6
Let your speech be with grace. Col. 4:6
Do all things in decent order. 1 Cor. 14:40
Let wives be subject to their Husbands. Eph. 5:22; Col. 3:18
Let husbands love their wives. Eph. 5:25
Let wives reverence their husbands. Eph. 5:33
Let everyone be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath. James 1:19
Let the afflicted pray. James 5:13
Let the adorning of women be more inward than outward. 1 Pet. 3:34
Don’t let the left hand know what the right hand is doing. Matt. 6:3
Do not let sin reign in the body. Rom. 6:12
Do not let the sun go down on your wrath. Eph. 4:26
Follow things that edify. Rom. 14:19
Walk in the Spirit. Gal. 5:25
Do not provoke one another. Gal. 5:26
Do not be weary in well-doing. Gal. 6:9
Come boldly to the throne of grace. Heb. 4:16; 10:19-23
Do not forsake assembling together in worship. Heb. 10:25
Exhort one another. Heb. 10:25
Lay aside every weight. Heb. 12:1
Run with patience the race before us. Heb. 12:1
Look to Jesus. Heb. 12:2
Offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually. Heb. 13:15
Do not judge one another in doubtful things. Rom. 14:1
Do not cause others to stumble. Rom. 14:13
Mark troublemakers. Rom. 16:17; Phil. 3:17
Pray for your persecutors. Matt. 5:44; Luke 6:28
Pray for laborers. Matt. 9:38; Luke 10:2
Put on the new man. Eph. 4:24; Col. 3:10
Put on the whole armor of God. Eph. 6:11, 13
Consider yourself dead to sin. Rom. 6:11
Redeem the time. Eph. 5:16
Restore backsliders in meekness. Gal. 6:1
Strengthen feeble knees. Heb. 12:12
Study to show yourself approved to God. 2 Tim. 2:15
Take no anxious thought of tomorrow. Matt. 6:34
Take the Lord’s Supper. 1 Cor. 11:24-26
Be careful not to despise little ones. Matt. 18:10
Be aware of yourself and your doctrine. 1 Tim. 4:16
Withdraw from disorderly people. 2 Thess. 3:6, 14"
Willmington, H. L. 1987.
Willmington's Book of Bible Lists.
Tyndale House: Wheaton, Ill.
Posted 14 August 2009 - 10:20 AM
"If we are to attain to the Kingdom of God, and to a condition of eternal usefulness to God, we must in this life lift our minds to an entirely new plane of consciousness and thinking: to the plane of holiness - far above the natural, animal desires and interests of the flesh. Holiness is Beauty: the Beauty of Holiness: all else is ugliness. Holiness is Separateness and Purity: a Separate Purity: a Pure Separateness. The mental food that creates the transformation of our minds from natural repulsiveness to spiritual attractiveness is the Spirit-Word, continuously and liberally indulged in. "Without holiness, no man shall see the Lord." Naturally, we are the very opposite of holy. To become so, more and more, is life's purpose: its ONLY purpose. Any time spent that does not contribute to this is precious divine time wasted: unfaithful stewardship. "Perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord" is a large enough command, and a high enough ambition, to completely fill any lifetime. With God's bountiful and loving help, lift your mind above all natural childishness and foolishness, all interest in worldly things, all unclean fleshly habits and thoughts, all of the ugliness of the flesh, as anger, impatience, harshness, unkindness, selfishness, lack of sympathy and compassion and healing, forgiving love. "Be ye holy, even as God is holy." What a joy! What a revelation! What a beautiful, noble company! "Worship the Lord in the Beauty of Holiness!"
Brother G.V. "Rene" Growcott
"Be Ye Holy - For I Am Holy (Lev. 11:44)
Posted 16 August 2009 - 11:33 AM
"There are only two states of existence before God: the flesh and the spirit, darkness and light, death and life. The unbeliever walks "according to the course of this world ... according to the spirit that worketh in the children of disobedience ... fulfilling the desires of the flesh ... and are by nature the children of wrath."
"This is a truth which must be courageously faced. However good, in the worldly sense, however gentle or loving, the unbeliever is disobedient to God - and it is He who judges, not we ourselves. That is why Paul wrote: "do not unite yourself with unbelievers; they are no fit mates for you. What has righteousness to do with wickedness? Can light consort with darkness? Can Christ agree with Belial or a believer join hands with an unbeliever? Can there be a compact between the temple of God and the idols of the heathen? And the temple of the living God is what we are" (2 Corinthians 6:14-16, NEB).
The New Life
Posted 16 August 2009 - 11:35 AM
"Everyone sees the world through the lens of his own experience. We perceive our world from a particular time and cultural background. It is easy to assume that Jesus and his disciples were much like ourselves. In our movies about Jesus he is often portrayed as a "hippie" with blond hair and blue eyes. It is not as easy to see Jesus as a homely, middle eastern Jewish rabbi who spoke Hebrew and went by the name "Yashua Ben Yoseph".
If we want to understand Jesus and his message in its original context we have to try to understand the world from his point of view. The most natural assumption in the world is that we put ourselves in the mindset of a first century Jew. If we read the Gospel from this perspective, does the message change? An intellectualized Gospel of the 20th century North American or a Social Justice Gospel which resonates so well in Third World today may miss the message found in a 1st century story of a Jewish Messiah.
Long ago, God chose a special people for himself. He promised Abraham and his descendants that through them would come a redeemer who would bless all nations. So it was that Israel looked forward to the coming Messiah (anointed one). Jesus was very clear in regard to the spiritual authority God had bestowed upon the Jews. We see this in his remark to the Samaritan woman in John 3:22. The Samaritans worshipped the God of Abraham too, but they worshipped him according to their own standards.
"You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews." John 3:22
The Gospel has become many things in the name of "spirit and truth" (John 3:23) yet God chose to bring forth salvation from within a Jewish context. Jesus cannot be properly understood apart from Old Testament Judaism.
Despite this reality, the Christian world has generally abandoned the Jewish context in which the Gospel was born. Gentile believers, in a reaction against Jewish "traditionalism", commonly discard all things Jewish as obsolete. As a result, Christian traditions have replaced the old Jewish ones.
Over the centuries, the Church developed a version of faith which accommodated its own cultural expressions. This is most readily illustrated by noting the many pagan practices that have been "christianized" and assimilated into our faith experience. It is just as revealing to note how little Jewish tradition was adopted. These "new" traditions are now so embedded we can hardly imagine Christianity without them. Imagine trying to live without Christmas or Easter, both pagan in origin, now fundamental centerpieces of the Christian experience.
There has been a paradigm shift from a Middle Eastern Jewish Messiah to a Western Greco-Roman Christ. So much so, in fact, that Christianity today bears little resemblance to the religion Jesus participated in on the earth. In the minds of most Christians, Judaism may as well be a different religion altogether.
I will suggest that Judaism is not a "different" religion. Rather, Christianity and Judaism are two perspectives of One God. Christianity is no more complete without its Jewish heritage than Judaism is without the Messiah. We may not be comfortable with accepting that Jesus and his disciples were all proud Jews, but I firmly believe it is in our interest to do so.
It is good to remember that the foundation for "Jewish" culture was established directly by God himself. Judaism is the original backdrop of the Gospel story. The Jewish Torah is our own beloved Christian Old Testament. Our God is One, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Christians should take pride in the fact that this Jewish heritage as it is ours as well. Even we Gentiles have a just spiritual claim to all things promised to the Jew through Jesus our Messiah (Christ)."
"This is what the LORD Almighty says: "In those days ten men from all languages and nations will take firm hold of one Jew by the hem (tzit zit) of his robe and say, 'Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you.'"
Posted 17 August 2009 - 11:24 AM
"At times our own light goes out and
is rekindled by a spark from another person.
Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude
of those who have lighted the flame within us."
- Albert Schwietzer
"Nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket,
but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.
Let your light shine before men in such a way
that they may see your good works,
and glorify your Father who is in heaven."
Posted 18 August 2009 - 12:26 PM
"Blessed are those that can give without remembering and receive without forgetting."
"Now one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God,
and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan.
So Jesus answered and said, "Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?
Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?"
And He said to him, "Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well."
Posted 19 August 2009 - 05:29 AM
We cannot discuss the connection between the bread and wine and fellowship without first mentioning baptism.
Baptism is itself an act of fellowship on our part. It is an identification of our fellowship with the death (and life) of Christ:
‘having been buried with him in baptism, and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead’ (Colossians 2:12)
The starting point of the following discussion of fellowship is that just as the disciples had been baptised before eating bread and wine with Jesus, so must we be. (see John 3:5).
The bread symbolises the fellowship the disciples shared with Jesus' victory over sin and death. It is eaten as a sign of shared fellowship with Christ.
‘One loaf.. one body’ (1 Corinthians 10:17)
Bread is made up of many individual grains of wheat which are ground together to make one loaf. As Paul said 'we, who are many, are one body: for we are all partake of the one loaf' (1 Corinthians 10:17). Jesus was showing his disciples that our fellowship is with him and with the Father.
‘And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ’ (1 John 1:3).
Jesus carefully took bread, and blessed, and broke it, then gave it to each of them individually. In the same way, our fellowship with Christ is an individual fellowship. If we personally are walking in light, then we have fellowship with Christ as symbolised by the bread. If we share this loaf with others, our fellowship with them is dependent upon them also walking in light.
'If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin' (1 John 1:7).
Our fellowship with Christ, and with one another, is dependent upon our faithful walking in the light. So therefore we must be careful how we live our lives to ensure our fellowship with Christ in the breaking of bread.
Note that in the above verses we see that secondary to the main element of fellowship, that is fellowship with the Father and his son, Christ, there is also the question of fellowship with each other.
The question of fellowship can be difficult and is a question of balance. But the Bible does provide guidelines:
Firstly we can see that even in New Testament times fellowship was not extended to everyone:
‘But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolator or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.’ (1 Corinthians 5:11)
Paul was here instructing the church in Corinth not to have fellowship with one brother who was in a sexually immoral relationship. The church had to bar him from eating with them for a time so that he would repent and be restored. In the second letter to Corinth we see that Paul’s medicine worked the brother did repent and was restored (see 2 Corinthians 2:5-11).
This case of suspending fellowship was for wrong deeds, but Paul also applied the same medicine in the case of wrong teaching (compare 1 Corinthians 5:5 with 1 Timothy 1:20).
The apostle John, following on from his words on fellowship (1 John 1:7 as above), and right lifestyle (1 John 1:8-17), also had a warning on right teaching (1 John 1:18-27).
John expands this warning in 1 John, chapter 4:
‘Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognise the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world’ (1 John 4:1-3)
John was so concerned about this false teaching that he repeated the warning in his second letter:
‘Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist.’ (2 John 7)
We can draw two major conclusions from these warnings:
· Firstly that John wanted the believers to avoid fellowship with false teaching as well as with false practice.
· Secondly that he was particularly concerned with false teaching about Christ.
This is not the place for a detailed analysis of what the particular false teaching was, but note that John does not instruct the believers to avoid fellowship with those who deny that Jesus Christ came ‘in a body’. (Even the Jews and Romans recognised that Jesus came with a body or they would not have nailed that body to a cross). John’s concern was more subtle: with those who deny that Jesus Christ came ‘in the flesh’.
The writer to the Hebrews made clear that Jesus coming ‘in the flesh’ meant more than just coming ‘in a body’:
‘Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who has the power of death that is the devil - … For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way,.. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.’ (Hebrews 2:14-18)
(see also Matthew 1:1, Mark 13:32, Luke 2:6, 2:40, 2:52, John 14:28, 20:17, Hebrews 4:15, 5:7-8)
If our fellowship is truly first of all ‘with the Father and the Son’, then, as John argues, we should not be sharing this fellowship with anyone who teaches wrong things about the Father and the Son.
One thing in particular which is very relevant today is that many Christians do not truly believe the doctrine that Paul says is ‘first importance’, that ‘Christ died for our sins’ (1 Corinthians 15:3).
Yes, they will say, Christ’s body died, but not Christ himself. Many, if not most, Christians today believe and teach that Jesus went elsewhere as a spirit while his body was in the tomb for 3 days. He himself, they teach, did not die.
But the Lord Jesus himself says: ‘I was dead’ (Revelation 1:18)
Just as John and Paul withdrew fellowship from those who had wrong actions, in the same way both apostles taught that we are not to turn a blind eye to serious wrong teaching even if it would be more convenient for us to do so.
However what both apostles are talking about are wrong teachings about the Lord Jesus Christ himself. Not every difference of opinion is a basis for such drastic action.
In his letter to the Corinthians Paul reprimands them for not sharing fellowship as one. One of the arguments he uses is that they should not have a double standard for baptism and fellowship:
‘For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body’ (1 Corinthians 12:13)
This argument of Paul’s still makes sense today: if someone has truly been ‘baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into his death’ (Romans 6:3), then we cannot refuse to break with them the bread that ‘proclaims the Lord’s death until he comes’ (1 Corinthians 11:26).
The opposite of this is also true. If someone has not been truly ‘baptised into the death of Christ’, or for example was baptised without understanding that Christ truly ‘died for our sins’ (he himself, not only his body died)., then we are doing them no favour by extending bread that is secondary to be taken as a reminder of our baptism."
Do This in Remembrance of Me
Posted 20 August 2009 - 10:30 AM
"Whatever people may say or do, the Bible remains the same.
God, who existed before the world was made, changes not.
Let your eyes be up to heaven, not on earth.
Things on earth are more stable for you
if your affections are set on heaven."
The Christadelphian - 1886
"Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord.
The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil,
being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains.
You too be patient; strengthen your hearts,
for the coming of the Lord is near."
Posted 21 August 2009 - 11:48 AM
“The world gets out of the way for the person who knows where he is going”
“All these died in faith, without receiving the promises,
but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance,
and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.
For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a country of their own.
And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise,
God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.”
Hebrews 11:13-14, 39-40
Posted 23 August 2009 - 08:48 AM
Thoughts from Proverbs:
"For my mouth will speak truth; wickedness is an abomination to my lips" 8:7
"Whoever hides hatred has lying lips, and whoever spreads slander is a fool" 10:18
"Dishonest scales are an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is His delight" 11:1
"The integrity of the upright will guide them, but the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them" 11:3
"The truthful lip shall be established forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment" 12:19
"Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who deal truthfully are His delight" 12:22
"Better is the poor who walks in his integrity than one who is perverse in his lips, and is a fool" 19:1
"'It is good for nothing,' cries the buyer; but when he has gone his way, then he boasts" 20:14
"Buy the truth, and do not sell it, also wisdom and instruction and understanding" 23:23
Posted 23 August 2009 - 08:59 AM
"David ... is convicted and confesses and repents: 'Blessed is he who transgression is forgiven, who sin is covered' (Psalm 32:1). It could be read like a cold theological declaration from a list of doctrines, but in fact it was a gasp of relief: 'Oh the blessedness of realizing that your black sin is covered and forgiven.'
Then he adds by way of a condition, '... in whose spirit is no guile.' That is something utterly crucial. David knew that his guile had been a barrier to pardon, an impediment to peace, an obstruction on the road to reformation. It keeps the prison shut - it is an iron bar, a lock with only one key. Strangely the key is in the hand of the prisoner. The key is this - quit the hypocrisy, stop the window dressing, open the heart and make the confession.
Soon after his baptism Jesus is calling and collecting his apostles, and sees a man named Nathanael, from Cana in Galilee. This man is measured by Jesus in these words: 'Behold an Israelite indeed'. To be a true Israelite is good, to be an Israelite indeed is superlative. How would we measure an Israelite indeed? A Hebrew of the Hebrews, blameless under the law? Someone rich in faith, mastered by the Hope of Israel? A son of Abraham, looking for the consolation of Israel and loyal to its brotherhood? All these are valid and true, but the King's measurement was this: 'in whom is no guile' (John 1:47). When all the forces of faith, hope and loyalty have been marked, this, in the mind of the King, was the final qualification.
The day came when one of these apostles was impelled by the Spirit to give an estimate of his Master's life in these words, 'Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth'. What came to be a high mark in the life of this sinless man from Nazareth, he once saw latently in an unknown man from Cana. Later on, when the man of Galilee makes water into wine, the guileless man from Cana will know that, uniquely, some good thing has come out of Nazareth, and he will confess it guilelessly.
In Revelation 14 there is a vision of the glorified saints standing on mount Zion, singing the new song before the throne of the Lamb. They are described as those who are 'redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb' (verse 4). It is God-manifestation in multiplicity; it is life eternal; it is the final triumph of the Lamb, the unveiling of the Redeemer's redemption in one glorious throng. It is the place where every true disciple longs to come at last: 'And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God' (verse 5). Nobody in his right mind can lightly pass over this assessment of faithfulness, but let Peter turn it into exhortation:
"For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile" (1 Peter 3:10).
Brother Dennis Gillett
Words and Weights
Posted 24 August 2009 - 11:36 AM
"Do every act of your life as if it were your last."
- Marcus Aurelius
"Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved,
a workman who does not need to be ashamed and
who correctly handles the word of truth."
2 Timothy 2:15
Posted 25 August 2009 - 10:52 AM
"Living in the past is a dull and lonely business;
looking back strains the neck muscles,
causes you to bump into people not going your way."
- Edna Ferber
"And Jesus said unto him,
No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back,
is fit for the kingdom of God."
Posted 26 August 2009 - 12:00 PM
"Do one thing at a time and
do that one thing as if your life depended upon it."
- Eugene Grace
"Or what woman, having ten silver coins,
if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and
sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it?
And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors,
saying, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I had lost.'
Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents."
Posted 27 August 2009 - 10:22 AM
"If you don't know where you are going,
you might wind up someplace else."
- Yogi Berra
"Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might,
for in the grave, where you are going,
there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom."
"But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one.
Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God,
for He has prepared for them a city."
Posted 28 August 2009 - 11:09 AM
"Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday."
- Don Marquis
"When you make a vow to God, do not delay in fulfilling it.
He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow."
Posted 29 August 2009 - 12:11 PM
"... we find that the law of love is the basis of all the instruction given by Christ and his Apostles. They often mentioned details which would not have occurred to us, but the details are all strictly related to the fundamental principle presented in the law through Moses and stated by Christ to be the foundation of his teaching: the whole-hearted love of God, and the self-sacrificing love of man.
The Lord Jesus gave a new impetus and even a new significance to the old command. Some disciples have been puzzled by his saying: "A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another" (John 13:34). In view of the fact that this law was so old and Christ had emphasized its fundamental character, why did he call it new? It is easy to find the answer to this question, and when found it becomes perhaps the most moving and searching of all thoughts for disciples.
The Mosaic law commanded that a man should love the Lord his God with all the heart, soul and strength, and that he should love his neighbour as himself; but these were not, and could not be, the laws by which a man could be judged before any merely human tribunal. The feelings and thoughts of a man's mind cannot be assessed correctly by a human judge. The law courts of mortal men can only judge in a negative manner. That was inevitably true in the old dispensation, and so a man who in no way injured his neighbours was legally correct in his social behaviour, even though wrong feelings were in his heart and wrong thoughts in his mind. Human judges were guided by the sight of their eyes and the hearing of their ears. Christ is under no such limitations. Even in the days of his flesh he knew what was in man, and needed not that any should tell him. When he comes as the ruler of mankind, he will not judge after the sight of his eyes or the hearing of his ears. With an all-penetrating knowledge, he will look into the heart of a man, and judge him by what he really is, and not what he appears to be. For us to be acceptable disciples this law of love must be in our hearts. There must be not merely an outward show of piety, but the reality of love for God, not merely a formal show of solicitude for a neighbour's welfare, or conventional acts of charity, but a real love of man. The Lord will look into our inmost being, and require that the reality of love shall be there."
- Islip Collyer
The Law of Love
What it Means to be a Christian
Posted 30 August 2009 - 12:21 PM
Doctrine and Conduct are Related to Each Other as Cause and Effect
"This affirmation may require a little explanation because so many people think of doctrine as belonging solely to ecclesiastical circles, and as being quite unpractical even there. They think of fierce doctrinal disputes that ministered occasion for rancour and bitterness without teaching anything of real value.
The fact is that, through the weakness and yet the pugnacity of human nature, great and important truths are continually obscured by disputes regarding matters of relative insignificance. Great truths are hidden not only by falsehoods but also by little truths, just as a great mountain may be hidden from sight by a too near and intent inspection of a tiny piece of stone.
Doctrine really means teaching. The word can be used in a much wider sense than is generally recognised. The doctrines that a man holds are really the principles that guide his conduct. If his doctrines are well-balanced with a just perception as to which are the most important, his conduct will probably be well balanced too. If he holds some false doctrines, or if his strongest convictions and most persistent thoughts centre round something of little value, the ill effect will be seen in his conduct.
Beliefs may be of all shades of strength, from a slight inclination of opinion to a confidence indistinguishable from absolute certainty. If a Christian has real faith in his religion and if he attaches the proper importance to Christian doctrines, he not only has a strong hope in life but his conduct is guided at every point. As the Apostle expresses it, he "believes with the heart unto righteousness"."
- Islip Collyer
The Guiding Light
From Chapter 13
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