Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Praise To Our Great Shepherd


Psalm 23:1-6

David exalted God.

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David called God ‘The LORD’.

God is worthy of our exaltation.

We must never be ashamed to exalt, praise and worship Him.

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David called God his shepherd.

Our Shepherd loves us.

He tends to us, cares about us, leads us, feeds us, protects us and guides us through our lives.

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David experienced God.

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David had personal experiences with God.

He had a close and intimate relationship with Him.

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David had precious experiences with God.

God had led him to the place of safety, and the abundant supply of food and drink.

David was confident that God would take care of all his needs.

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David had profound experiences with God.

God had brought him from death to life.

God had restored his soul.

God had always led him in the right way. It was the best path of all: His path.

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David praised God.

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David praised God for His power.

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David praised God for giving him peace as he passed through the frightening and dangerous places.

David praised God for His presence to lead him, feed him, protect him and watch over him.

David praised God for correcting, protecting, rescuing and restoring him.

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David praised God for His provisions.

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David praised God for giving him food.

David praised God for giving him rest.

David praised God for giving him refreshment.

David praised God for giving him peace.

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David praised God for His promises.

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David praised God for promising to help him today.

David praised God for promising to give him hope for tomorrow.

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Some applications.

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We can also sing praises to the great Shepherd.

Our God is worthy of our love, our faith, our praise and our devotion.

Let us praise Him now!

He is our Great Shepherd!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Believer's Song


Psalm 18:1-3

King David declared his love for the Lord.

He was so filled with love for the Lord that he wanted to get real close to Him and hug Him.

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King David declared his absolute dependence upon the Lord.

He planned to live for the Lord, to love the Lord and to depend on the Lord for everything he needed, did and was in life.

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David’s praised God.

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It was praise for a personal God.

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It was praise for a powerful God.

To him, God was his rock where he found his stability.

To him, God was his fortress where he found his safety and perfect peace.

To him, God was his deliverer who saved and rescued him in times of danger.

To him, God was his God who was over all things and who was in control of all things.

To him, God was the strength of his life.

To Him, God was his shield who stepped between him and his trials.

To him, God was the horn of his salvation. He was totally secure in Him.

To him, God was his stronghold with a place of rest, refreshment and ready supply.

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David’s pledged to call on God and to trust Him and Him alone for the victories of life.

He pledged to walk by faith and not by sight!

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God is all that the Bible says He is and even more.

We are to love God, to live for Him, and to depend on Him for everything in our lives.

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Let us be like king David.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Blessed Believer


Psalm 1

Believer is separated from the wicked.

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He refuses the counsel and invitation of the wicked.

He refuses to behave like them.

He refuses to belong to them.

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Believer is careful how he lives every day.

He is careful not to go from bad to worse.

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Believer is in love with the word of God.

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The Word of God has captured his full affection.

It is the Word of Truth.

It is God-breathed and infallible, inerrant and absolutely perfect.

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Believer loves the Bible, finding in its pages all he needs to grow and prosper for the Lord Jesus.

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Believer is attentive to the Word of God.

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The Word of God has captured his full attention.

He lives out the Word of God daily.

The Bible has become his singular standard for faith and practice.

Every thought, every move, every decision he makes is made according to the Word of God.

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Believer spends his days and his nights in the pursuit of the Bible.

He is consumed with its content and mesmerized in the meditation of it.

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Believer will prosper.

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Believer lives close to God every day.

He is vibrant, lively and productive, because he is connected to an unfailing source of life and strength.

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He is prominent among all those around him.

He has his roots deep into the water of life.

He has a ready source of life.

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Believer is a blessing to all those around him.

Plenty of fruit will come in its season.

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Believer is evergreen.

He lives consistently!

He is always stable, faithful and dependable.

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Believer is blessed.

God will bless his personal life, family life, business life, church life, and spiritual life.

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Blessed believer!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Truth


Mark 10:23-31

As the rich man walked away, the Lord Jesus looked around at His disciples and made an astonishing statement.

He said that people who possessed the riches of this world would have great difficulty to enter into God’s kingdom.

The problem was not with the person having the money.

The problem was when the money had the person.

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The disciples were amazed at His statement.

The Jews saw health, wealth, and prosperity as blessings from God.

They had the example of rich Abraham, David, Job, and Solomon.

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The Lord Jesus sensed their amazement and He clarified what He meant.

First, He called them, “Children”.

That was a term of endearment.

Then He told them that people who trusted in riches would find salvation impossible.

It would be like trying to stuff a camel through the eye of a sewing needle.

This was a hyperbole, an exaggeration used to emphasize a truth.

The Lord Jesus was referring to a literal camel and a literal needle.

If a person trusted in their riches, he or she would not go to Heaven!

The rich man’s wealth was the focus of his faith.

His wealth was his reason for living.

And he refused to let it go.

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Those who sought salvation in their own resources would be disappointed at the end of their lives.

They would find that their money, fame, power and position couldn't provide them with the salvation for their souls.

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The disciples were dumbfounded by what they heard.

They responded by asking, “Who then can be saved?”

They realized that everybody could be caught up with the things of the world.

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The Lord Jesus told them that though men might find it impossible to break the hold of their things, but God in His power, could set them free.

If the rich man would obey the Lord Jesus, He would have given him grace to relinquish his hold on his wealth.

He would have saved his soul, and blessed him with heavenly and spiritual riches.

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Peter spoke up.

He told the Lord Jesus that they had left everything to follow Him.

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The Lord Jesus responded by saying that God saw, recorded and rewarded every sacrifice that was made for Him.

And God would reward them far more in their future than all that they had left behind in their past.

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But there was a price to pay in following Jesus.

Difficulties and trials would come because of commitments to God.

But God would bless His people in spite of any trial they might face along the way.

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The Lord Jesus promised eternal life.

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But those who were first in this world would finish last in the race to Heaven.

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In God’s eyes, it is not riches that make a person somebody special.

It is faith in Jesus.

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The poor and faithful servants will have God’s attention.

And they will be rewarded accordingly.

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What do we trust to take us to Heaven?

Anything but the Lord Jesus will ultimately fail.

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What is our attitude toward our money?

Money must always be used as a tool in our service to the Lord.

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What have we given up to follow the Lord Jesus?

The Lord God will reward us much more than we can imagine.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Don’t Hinder The Children


Mark 10:13-16

The Lord Jesus turned His attention to the children brought to Him by their parents.

He prayed for them and blessed them.

The disciples rebuked the parents.

The Lord Jesus was indignant.

He rebuked the disciples for their attitude regarding the children.

He told them that little children were what the kingdom of Heaven was all about.

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Parents are to tell their children about Jesus Christ.

They are to expose their children to the Gospel.

They are to bring them to the church on a regular basis.

They are to pray for them.

They are to guide them in the Bible study at home.

They are to be consistent in their lives as believers.

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Parents are to educate their children about Jesus Christ.

They are to educate their children about the things of God.

They should bring their children face to face with the saving Lord early in their lives.

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Parents are to encourage their children to believe in Jesus Christ.

They are to encourage their children to seek the things of God.

They are to teach them to pray at an early age.

They are to make the Bible a big part of their daily life.

They are to pray with them.

They are to bring them to Sunday School and preaching.

They are to involve them in church activities.

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Children need to be saved.

They are sinners too.

Parents are to do all they can to bring their children face to face with the claims of the Gospel.

They are to expose them to the Word of God.

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Children become accountable for their sins when they come to age.

They are responsible for their sins when they can understand the difference between right and wrong, and are able to choose between them.

When children reach a level of mental understanding regarding the nature of sin and its consequences, and are able to make a decision for or against Jesus Christ, they are to make correct decision.

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Children are trusting, humble and dependent.

They don’t worry over food, clothing or shelter.

They don’t doubt that their family members love them.

They simply accept profound things by faith.

They don’t look beyond the obvious.

They just believe!

So should we; we must have childlike faith if we are to be saved!

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When the disciples rebuked the parents, the Lord Jesus Christ was indignant.

He was very angry when the disciples tried to prevent children from coming to Him.

Children hold a special place in His heart!

And He took the time to bless each individual child that came before Him.

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The Lord Jesus cares about children.

He prays for them and blesses them.

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The Lord Jesus loves believers with childlike qualities.

He will readily help them and bless them when they come to Him.

Monday, November 28, 2011

And They Could Not


Mark 9:14-29

When the Lord Jesus Christ and His 3 disciples came down from mountain Hermon, they found the other 9 disciples engaged in an argument with the scribes.

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A distraught father had brought his demon possessed son to the Lord Jesus Christ for healing.

Since the Lord Jesus Christ had gone up on the mountain, so he asked the disciple to heal his son.

But they could not cast out the demon.

The scribes mocked them for their lack of power.

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The Lord Jesus Christ asked for an explanation.

The father described the pitiful condition of his son because of demonic torment.

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The Lord Jesus Christ expressed His displeasure.

He was hurt because they all lacked faith.

The Lord Jesus Christ cried out, “How long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you?”

It was a heartbreaking moment for Him.

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The saddest aspect of this whole scene was not the condition of the boy, the spirit of the scribes, or the anguish of the father.

It was the powerlessness of the disciples.

They had seen Him performed countless amazing miracles, yet they still lacked genuine faith.

They had even cast out demons in the past.

They had seen many miracles and they had performed miracles themselves.

But now it was said of them “but they could not.”

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The Lord Jesus Christ commanded the boy to be brought to Him.

When he arrived, the demon in the child recognized the Lord Jesus Christ and attacked the boy again.

The child was gripped by convulsions, and he wallowed on the ground, foaming at the mouth.

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As the child writhed on the ground, the Lord Jesus Christ questioned this father how long his child had been this way.

The father answered it was since the boy was little.

He then told Him that the demon had attacked the boy repeatedly, trying to burn him to death or drown him in the water.

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Then the father looked at the Lord Jesus Christ and said, “But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”

It was a pitiful plea.

But it was a plea of a faithless man.

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He had trusted that the disciples could heal his son.

When they failed, his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ also shattered.

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He had brought his son believing that the Lord Jesus Christ could deliver him.

Now, his faith had been reduced to “But if you can do anything …”

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The Lord Jesus Christ responded immediately!

“‘If you can’?”

“Everything is possible for one who believes.”

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The Lord Jesus Christ rebuked the father for his doubt.

When the father heard this, he looked at Him and said, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

He was asking the Lord Jesus Christ to help him to grow in his faith.

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Then the Lord Jesus commanded the spirit to leave the boy and never to return.

The demon attacked the child one more time and came out.

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The child became so quiet and still that the onlookers assumed that he was dead.

Then the Lord Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up.

The child rose and he was free.

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When the disciples were alone with the Lord Jesus Christ, the 9 who had failed to deliver the child asked Him why they failed.

His answer was that they lacked spiritual discipline in their lives.

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They were not communing with God as they should have been.

They were not surrendering to God as they should have been.

As a result, they lacked the power of God on their lives and they could not cast out the devil.

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The father of the boy said, “But they could not!”

What a tragic statement!

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The power of God was not with the disciples because they lacked spiritual discipline in their lives.

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We too if we do not walk closely with the Lord Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Do You See Anything?


Mark 8:23-26

The Lord Jesus Christ and His disciples returned to Bethsaida.

Some people brought a blind man to Him.

They requested Him to touch him.

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The Preparation For His Healing (23a)

The Lord Jesus Christ took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the town, away from the crowds to do His healing work.

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He led him around the obstacles that were in his path.

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He patiently led him along one step at a time, all the while holding his hand.

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The Lord Jesus Christ leads the lost and the blind sinners, and brings them to the place of salvation.

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Throughout our whole lives, the Lord Jesus Christ is working and leading us to bring us to the place of saving faith.

In every event, every circumstance, every tragedy and every blessing, He is taking our hand in His grip, and He brings us to Himself.

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We can’t get to God on our own!

In our natural state we are dead.

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It is the Lord Jesus Christ who comes to us, rescues us, and leads us to Himself.

He tenderly brings us along until our eyes are opened, and we can see ourselves for who we are and see Him as our only hope.

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The Lord Jesus Christ leads us and works in the events of our lives to bring us to that place of faith and repentance.

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The Process Of His Healing (23b-25)

The Lord Jesus Christ spat on the blind man's eyes and put His hands on him.

He was indicating to him that He was about to do something for his eyes.

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The Lord Jesus Christ then asked him if he could see anything.

The man opened his eyes and looked around.

He said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.”

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This tells us that the man hadn’t always been blind.

He was able to identify the people around him as people.

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This also teaches us that his healing was far from complete.

He could discern light and shapes, but he couldn’t see clearly.

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Then, the Lord Jesus Christ touched him again.

This time, everything became crystal clear.

His healing was complete.

His eyesight was restored.

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When the Lord Jesus Christ begins His work in us, we are totally blind in our sinful condition.

He brings us into conviction.

He uses this conviction to open our spiritual eyes and point us to Himself.

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When we are saved, we are like the man in this miracle.

We see some times, but we do not see them clearly.

As we spend time with the Lord Jesus Christ in His Word and in prayer, He develops our spiritual sight.

He causes us to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

He makes us more like Himself.

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The Postscript Of His Healing (26)

The Lord Jesus Christ healed the blind man.

Then He told him not to return to Bethsaida or tell anyone there about the miracle.

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Bethsaida had been given clear evidence that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Messiah.

But the people there refused to believe in Him.

As a result, the Lord Jesus Christ pronounced a curse on it (Matthew 11:21-22).

The people there would receive no more light.

That was why the Lord Jesus Christ took the man out of town to heal him.

That was why He told the man not to return to the town.

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We are lost sinners, headed for the fire of Hell.

The Lord Jesus Christ is our only hope of salvation.

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He had died on the cross to pay for the sins of His people.

He had risen again from the dead to provide eternal salvation to all who would believe in Him.

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Have we seen the truth that we stand in need of a Savior today?

Has the Lord revealed our condition to us?

Is He calling us to come to Him?

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If He is, we must not delay.

We must come to Him now.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Asking For The Crumbs


Mark 7:24-30

The Lord Jesus Christ was approached by a mother who had desperate need.

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The Mother And Her Request (25-26)

The Reason She Came

The woman was concerned about her daughter.

The child was demon possessed.

The Reason She Called

The woman was desperate and she saw the Lord Jesus as her only hope!

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The Mother And Her Resolve (27-28)

The Obstacles Of Faith

This woman had to overcome many obstacles in order to secure her daughter’s healing:

The Obstacle Of Race

She was a Canaanite from Tyre and Sidon.

She was descended from a cursed people.

She was from a region known for vile religious practices.

The Obstacle Of Religion

She was a Gentile woman.

But she came to the Jewish Messiah.

The Obstacle Of Racism

When the disciples saw and heard her calling out to their Messiah, they reacted by telling the Lord Jesus to send her away!

She was not one of their people!

The Obstacle Of Rejection

The Lord Jesus told her that His whole purpose in coming to this world was to reach the lost sheep of Israel.

But she persisted.

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The Opportunities Of Faith

The obstacles that were thrown up by the Lord Jesus were not placed there to discourage and defeat her.

The obstacles were placed there to mature her faith.

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The woman replied, “Lord, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”

The woman wasn’t asking for everything, just a crumb!

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The Lord Jesus took this woman and her small faith and led her along and helped grow her faith.

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When we continue to seek the Lord in spite of every hindrance, we will eventually see Him do what we need done.

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The Obligations Of Faith

The woman persisted in spite of everything that was thrown into her pathway.

She persisted because her little daughter needed to be delivered from her bondage and her family needed to be saved.

She needed help and she was determined to get it!

She wouldn’t give up until she got what she needed!

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The Mother And Her Reward (29-30)

Jesus Responded To Her Faith

He was amazed by the depth of her faith!

He had tested her faith with hard words and her faith had risen to the challenge!

Jesus Rewarded Her Faith

He rewarded her faith by giving her exactly what she asked for; He healed her daughter!

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A little crumb from the Lord’s Table may be all we need today.

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Do we need to be saved?

Do we need a mountain moved in our lives?

Do we need to be restored to faith and fellowship?

Do we need to see God moving in someone else’s life?

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Regardless of what our need today, we can come to the Lord Jesus and we can get it.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Savior Cares


Mark 6:30-34

He Cares About Laboring Servants (30-32)

Their Activity

The Lord Jesus Christ had sent the 12 disciples out to preach, teach and heal.

They returned and told Him all about their ministry in the surrounding villages.

They were excited about all that they had done.

His Advice

The Lord Jesus Christ called them away for a time of rest and refreshment.

He called them away from the limelight for a little while to help them keep things in the proper perspective.

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He Cares About Lost Sheep (33-34)

The Lord Jesus Christ and His men made their escape from the crowds.

But they didn’t slip away unnoticed.

The people saw them leaving and recognized that the boat carried the Lord Jesus.

The people ran around the shore of the lake and were waiting on Him when He arrived on the other side.

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It was 4 miles across the lake by boat.

It was 10 miles around the shore of the lake.

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The Lord Jesus Christ was moved with compassion toward the people.

He was touched by their need.

He was moved by a strong desire to meet their need.

The Reasons For His Concern

The Lord Jesus Christ looked at them as a flock of lost sheep, with no one to care about them.

They were lost sheep in need of a shepherd.

They had no sense of direction.

They couldn't find their way to God.

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They needed a Shepherd to come and rescue them.

They were absolutely defenseless.

They needed the Heavenly Shepherd or they would never be able to avoid the wrath of God and the fires of Hell.

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They were dumb.

Apart from the ministry of the Heavenly Shepherd, they didn't even know that they were lost.

This truth must be revealed to them by the convicting work of the Holy Spirit.

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The Reach Of His Concern

When the Lord Jesus Christ saw the crowd, He saw a huge group of people.

He also saw every individual in that crowd.

He saw every broken heart, every physical ailment, every emotional need, every spiritual problem; He saw them all!

Our God sees everything that happens in this universe, but He still has the ability to focus on the individual.

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The Response Of His Concern

These people came to the Lord Jesus Christ for help and He did not drive them away.

Instead, He began to teach them many things.

He gave them a feast of eternal truth.

He gathered them up that day and pointed them to God.

He told them of the true way of salvation.

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Are we weary in the work of the Lord?

Have we lost the joy of His salvation?

Are we spiritually tired and worn out?

Let us come to the Shepherd.

He will restore our soul.

He cares about us!

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Are we a lost sheep today?

Are we out there on the wild hills of sin, away from God and all alone?

The Shepherd cares about us!

If we will come to Him, He will take us into His fold and give us the peace, the joy and the security we need.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

A Touching Moment


Mark 5:22-34

The Horror She Endured (24-26)

Her Symptoms

The woman suffered from an issue of blood.

She was hemorrhaging or bleeding from some part of her body.

Her Sufferings

She Suffered Physically

She was weak and pale.

Her disease was constantly beating her down.

She had tried all the remedies of the physicians and she suffered under their care.

She Suffered Socially

She could not mix with others because of the danger of defilement.

Her condition left her on the fringes of society.

She Suffered Emotionally

She had been this way for 12 years.

She had lived her life moving from one rejection to another.

She was lonely, isolated and desperate!

She Suffered Religiously

She was considered unclean under the Law.

She could not go to the Women’s Court of the Temple.

She Suffered Financially

She had spent all she had.

She has been left penniless and destitute.

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Her Sorrow

She was living under a death sentence.

She would die from this disease.

Her life was draining out of her body little by little, day by day.

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The Hope She Embraced (27-28)

The Declaration She Heard

She heard about the Lord Jesus Christ.

She heard that there was power in His touch.

The Determination She Held

She was determined to get to Him.

The Lord Jesus Christ was her only hope.

She believed she could be healed by Him.

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She demonstrated great courage by approaching the Lord Jesus Christ in that crowd.

She was taking a great risk.

If she was recognized, she would probably be subjected to public humiliation, ridicule and retribution.

She might be stoned to death!

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The Healing She Experienced (29-34)

It Was Powerful Healing

She reached out her trembling hand.

She touched His garment.

Immediately, she was healed!

It Was Personal Healing

As soon as she touched Him, the Lord Jesus Christ knows what has happened.

He asked “Who touched My clothes?”

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Many touched Him and bumped into Him that day.

But she touched Him with the fingers of faith!

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She fell before Him in fear.

She was afraid of rejection......

But she needn’t have feared.

The Lord Jesus Christ was merely interested in helping her with her problem!

It Was Profound Healing

She got more than just physical healing that day.

Her faith had brought her into a saving relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

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The Lord Jesus Christ told her to go in peace.

She has done the right thing in coming to Him and touching Him.

She was finally and fully freed from her plague.

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The Lord Jesus Christ is the answer to our problem.

Many were with physical, spiritual, and emotional needs that day.

But only she got help.

Many touched the Lord Jesus Christ that day.

But only she was transformed.

Why?

Because she believed in the Lord Jesus Christ and she did it by faith.

How about you?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Maniac Became A Messenger


Mark 5:1-20

The Man's Condition (1-7)

His Home

This man lived among the dead.

He was a sad, lonely, hurting, longing, unloved, unwanted individual.

His Helplessness

His passions were stronger than his ability to control them.

No man could change and control him.

He was a man sold under the influence of the evil in his life.

His Hopelessness

His torment was continual.

Day and night he cried out.

Day and night he was in isolation.

Day and night he injured and harmed himself.

His Helper

Only the Lord Jesus Christ could rescue him.

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The Man's Conversion (8-17)

It Was Divine

One word from the Lord Jesus Christ and this man was free.

He was totally and radically healed.

It Was Dramatic

The demons left the man and entered a herd of 2,000 swine that ran down the Sea and drowned!

It Was Definite

The wild, uncontrollable demoniac was sitting down with a big smile on his face.

He wasn't crying out!

He wasn't hurting himself!

He wasn't naked.

He was just sitting there, fellowshipping with the Lord Jesus Christ.

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The Man's Commission (18-20)

The Man's Wish

This man wanted to be with the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Master's Will

But the Lord Jesus Christ wanted him to share what the Lord had done for him in his hometown.

The Man's Work

The man arose immediately and returned home.

He began to preach the good news of salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ.

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The Lord Jesus Christ had made a difference in this man.

He can also do the same to us if we will come to Him.

Come!

Come to Him now!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Message Of The Mighty Mustard Seed


Mark 4:30-34

The Lord Jesus Christ compared the Kingdom of God to a tiny mustard seed.

How The Kingdom Begins (31)

In Jesus’ day, the mustard seed was the smallest seed planted in the gardens.

It was a tiny seed, but it produced a very large plant.

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Most people believed that nothing would come of the Lord Jesus Christ and His ministry.

They could see the tiny seed, but they could not see the great tree.

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The Kingdom of our Lord was like the tiny, insignificant mustard seed in the beginning.

No one could see what the tiny seed the Lord Jesus Christ was sowing would become.

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How The Kingdom Builds (32a)

When the tiny mustard seed was planted in good soil, it germinated and produced a very large shrub-like plant that eventually grew to resemble a tree.

When the seed was planted in ancient Israel, the prospects for success seemed far away.

In the beginning, there were just the Lord Jesus Christ and a few followers.

By the time the Day of Pentecost came around, there were just 120 devoted followers of the Lord.

But on that day something amazing took place!

Over 3,000 people came to faith in Christ.

A short time later, another 5,000 were saved at one time.

The church began to grow at an astounding rate.

It wasn’t many days until the church in Jerusalem was said to have numbered some 50,000.

That was just the beginning!

As the message was carried around the world, vast multitudes began to come to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Cities and nations fell on their knees in the face of the message of the Gospel of grace.

This amazing growth has continued down to this day.

Everywhere the Gospel seed has been planted, souls have been saved and lives have been changed.

The church has continued to grow and the Kingdom of God on earth has continued to expand.

God has a way of bringing great things out of humble beginnings.

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How The Kingdom Blesses (32b)

This tiny seed grew into an immense plant.

Its branches spread themselves abroad offering a place for the birds to rest.

In the shadow of that plant, the birds found shelter from the storms, rest from their weariness and shade from the heat of the sun.

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The humble mustard seed produced a plant that had many uses.

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The Kingdom of God has also provided many benefits for those who have turned to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Everywhere the Gospel has germinated, compassion, decency and morality have sprung up.

Hospitals and schools have been founded.

Truth and salvation have been proclaimed and lives have been changed.

Everywhere the Gospel has gone, it has brought about the destruction of demonism, cannibalism, polygamy, child sacrifice and ten thousand other evils.

The spread of the Gospel has built orphanages for the fatherless and homes for the homeless.

The Gospel has reached out to comfort the bereaved, care for the infirm, and cure the sick.

The Gospel has changed individuals, communities and nations.

When the Kingdom of God moves in with divine power, the kingdom of Satan must fall before its appearance.

It may have had humble beginnings, but God has used it to accomplish great and wonderful things.

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The Kingdom of God may have had humble beginnings.

But it will expand and grow until it has a universal impact.

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God can take something that seems so small and insignificant, and transform it into something real big!

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Let us bring our mustard seed to the Lord Jesus Christ today and watch Him take it and turn it into a massive plant for the glory of God.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Are We In The Family?


Mark 3:31-35

The Lord Jesus Christ was teaching in the city of Capernaum.

He was surrounded by a vast multitude of people who were fascinated by His messages and miracles.

His family came to rescue Him.

They thought He had lost His mind.

They were worried about Him.

They came to get Him and take Him back home.

The Lord Jesus Christ used the arrival of His physical family as an opportunity to teach about His relationship with His spiritual family.

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A Tense Moment (31-33)

As the Lord Jesus Christ was teaching, His family showed up.

This created a moment of tension for everyone there.

The Family’s Request

His family was on the outside of the crowd.

They couldn’t get to Him because of the multitude.

So they sent word through the crowd to tell Him to come to where they were.

The Crowd’s Reaction

The crowd saw nothing wrong with this.

They fully expected Him to stop teaching and to go to His relatives.

The Lord’s Response

Instead of stopping what He was doing and going to His mother and brothers, the Lord Jesus Christ simply said, “Who is My mother, or My brothers?”

The crowd must be shocked.

His mother devastated.

His brothers probably got angry.

They had traveled all the way from Nazareth to get Him and He even refused to talk with them.

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A Teaching Moment (33-35)

Instead of reaching out to his earthly family, the Lord Jesus Christ spoke to the members of His spiritual family.

He used this moment as an opportunity to teach some eternal truth.

The Question

“Who is My mother, or My brothers?”

This question is all important!

The issue here is about spiritual relationships.

Who are those people that are in a personal, spiritual relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ?

The Qualifications

After He asked the question, He looked at the crowds and proclaimed them to be His spiritual family.

Then He spoke about what it takes for a person to be considered a member of His spiritual family.

There Is A Spiritual Requirement

The Lord Jesus Christ said that whosoever did the will of the Father was a member of His spiritual family.

The will of the Father is for sinners to believe on the Son.

It is faith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ!

If we can believe on Him and what He did for us, we will be saved and we will receive everlasting life.

There Are Some Spiritual Realities
  1. The true children of God have experienced the new birth. There was a moment in time when they saw their sins and understood that they were condemned in the eyes of God. At that moment, they looked away by faith to the Lord Jesus. They accepted His death as the payment for their sins. They believed in Him as the risen Lord and they were saved.
  2. They love the Bible and feed on it so that they may grow in the Lord. They have a hunger for it. They pattern their lives after its teachings.
  3. They are men of prayer. They find hope, comfort and help in spending time with God the Father in Heaven.
  4. They will be busy for the works of the Lord Jesus Christ. They will serve Him.

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Are we in the family?

Do we possess the marks of the believer?

If we do, then praise the Lord.

Let us place spiritual relationships before earthly relationships.

The Lord Jesus Christ must be our priority.

Our family and our interests take second place.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Scandal Over Sacraments


Mark 2:18-22

Jesus And The Rebuke (18)

The Ritual

The Pharisees and the disciples of John the Baptist observed fasting as part of their lifestyles.

The Rebuke

The Lord Jesus Christ and His disciples were feasting at the house of Matthew.

It was probably a Monday or a Thursday, one of the Jewish fasting days.

This upset the Pharisees.

The disciples of John the Baptist were upset too.

Their leader had been arrested and was possibly dead at this time.

They were mourning the absence of John the Baptist and they were upset that the Lord Jesus Christ wasn’t upset too!

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Jesus And His Response (19-20)

An Explanation

The Lord Jesus Christ responded to their criticism by talking about wedding.

In Jesus’ day, as soon as the wedding was over, the newlyweds would host their families and friends in a week of celebration.

The Lord Jesus Christ told His critics that His presence among His people was like that of a bridegroom among his friends.

It was not a time for mourning, self-denial and sadness.

It was a time for celebration and gladness.

An Expectation

Having set the record straight, the Lord Jesus Christ told them that there would come a day when the Bridegroom would be taken away.

His disciples would then fast and be sorrowful in those days.

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Jesus And His Revelation (21-22)

To make His point crystal clear, Jesus used two vivid illustrations from everyday life.

The Illustration Of The Clothes

If a person took a torn and worn garment and sewed in a new piece of cloth as a patch, the first time it got wet and dried, the new piece of cloth would shrink.

When it did, it would pull apart the older, weaker garment and the hole would be worse than before.

Judaism, with its external rituals and rules could not contain Christianity with its emphasis on an internal relationship with God.

The Illustration Of The Containers

If new wine was poured into an old wineskin and began to ferment, the old wineskin couldn’t stretch to accommodate the gases put off by the fermenting wine and would burst.

The only fit container for new wine was a new wineskin.

Judaism, with its rituals and rules, could not contain the ministry and message of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Lord Jesus Christ did not come to pour the new wine of His Spirit into hearts that were trying to please God by keeping the rules and traditions of men.

He came to take the old wineskin of our flesh and make us new by His power.

Only one who has been saved by grace and is born again is a fit container for the Spirit of God!

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We cannot mix the Lord Jesus Christ and our religion.

We cannot mix the Lord Jesus Christ and our old way of living.

To be saved, we have to come to the Lord Jesus Christ and completely forsake the rest.

When we do, we will discover that He has the power to transform us from what we are into what we could never have imagined.

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Maybe we have done all the rituals.

We have been baptized.

We have taken the Lord’s Supper.

We have joined the church.

We have done it all, but we have never bowed as a lost sinner, repented of our sins and asked the Lord Jesus Christ to come into our heart.

We have religion, but we don’t have the Lord Jesus Christ.

Change that today!

Come to the Lord Jesus Christ right now.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Touch That Transforms


Mark 1:40-45

In this account of the healing of the leprous man, we can see the compassion and power of the Lord Jesus Christ.

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A Sick Man (40)

The Nature Of His Ailment

Leprosy is a highly infectious and incurable disease in Bible times.

It attacked the nervous system, compromising the body’s ability to feel pain.

One of the worst aspects of leprosy was the social isolation it brought.

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The Nature Of His Approach

This poor leper came to the Lord Jesus Christ when he heard His Word.

Faith was awakened in his heart.

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It took great courage for him to approach the Savior that day.

He risked stoning, humiliation and death to get to the Lord.

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His fellow lepers tried to discourage him.

But with great faith he went toward the Lord Jesus Christ.

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The Nature Of His Appeal

This poor man came to the Lord Jesus Christ humbly and in faith.

He realized that he deserved nothing.

But he knew that if the Lord Jesus Christ wanted to, He could heal his body.

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When this leper spoke, he acknowledged the Lord’s power and the Lord’s sovereignty.

He said “If You are willing, You can make me clean.”

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A Sovereign Messiah (41-42)

The Messiah’s Compassion

The Lord Jesus Christ saw the poor man and saw His condition.

He did not shrink back in fear.

He was moved with compassion.

He had deep feeling of sympathy and sorrow for the leper.

He had a strong desire to alleviate his suffering.

He stretched out His hand and touched him.

Oh how glorious that one touch must have felt to this man!

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The Messiah’s Command

The Lord Jesus Christ simply touched the leper and gave a command for him to be clean.

Instantly, His leprosy departed.

His deformed body was made whole again.

His face was normal again.

His shattered hands and feet were restored to wholeness.

The ruined skin was instantly as smooth as a baby’s.

The defilement of his disease was immediately taken away.

Everything changed when the Master spoke!

********

A Strange Mandate (43-45)

The Demand

As soon as the Lord Jesus Christ healed the man, He sent him away to the priest at the temple.

This man was told to go and fulfill the requirements of the Law for his cleansing.

This leper was told to go and present himself to the priest and get a certificate of cleansing on the basis of a ceremony in Lev. 14.

********

The Disobedience

What a testimony it would have been when that poor old leper was glorious cleansed and applied at the temple for cleansing!

This miracle would have notified the priests that the Messiah had come!

********

Sadly, the man disobeyed.

What would have been a great testimony went untold.

********

The Lord Jesus Christ told the man to tell no one but the priests.

But the man went out and told everyone but the priests!

********

The leper disobeyed the command of the Lord Jesus Christ.

As a result, the Lord Jesus Christ was forced to move His ministry into the country.

Many who could have heard the Word of the Lord never did because of one man’s disobedience!

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Are we like this poor leper before he was cleansed, afflicted and devastated by sin?

If so, there is hope in the Lord Jesus Christ!

Let us come to Him and find cleansing and a new life!

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Maybe, like this poor leper, we have been cleansed, but there are areas of disobedience in our lives.

And the Lord can’t use us to our fullest.

Today would be a good day to get down before Him and get that right.

********

Wherever we are in our spiritual journey, The Lord Jesus Christ cares!

He is ready to reach into our lives and touch us at the very point of our need.

He stands ready to help us, if we will simply come to Him in faith as this poor leper did!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Is Jesus Calling You?


Mark 1:16-20

The public ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ had commenced.

He called certain people to salvation and service.

Let us consider the characteristics of His call.

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His Call Is Personal

The Lord Jesus Christ walked up to those boats.

He called 4 specific men in those 2 specific boats.

He called them and dealt with them personally.

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The Lord Jesus Christ called them when they were busy in their works.

This was the second encounter these men had had with Jesus.

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The first time when they met Him (John 1:35-42), they were called to salvation.

Here, they were called into His service.

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His Call Is Private

The call was felt in the hearts of the 4 men who left all to follow Him.

Their hearts were touched.

They felt a strange power drawing them to go after the Lord Jesus Christ.

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His Call Is Public

These men are called upon to make a public stand for the Lord Jesus Christ.

They are called upon to publicly line up with Him.

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His Call Is Precious

These men were nothing special.

They were just ordinary fishermen.

But the Lord Jesus Christ chose them.

He called them to be the first of His followers.

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It is a privilege and a blessing beyond comparison!

It is a thing most precious!

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His Call Is Pricey

These men were called upon to make some really expensive choices.

They were called upon to leave their friends, their family, their fortune, etc.

They were to give up everything to walk with the Lord Jesus Christ.

Yet they determined that the price was worth paying.

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His Call Is Powerful

When the Lord’s call came, these men left their nets and their profession without question.

When Jesus called, they left everything to follow Him immediately!

They stepped out of their ships.

They stepped away from their lives.

They went after Jesus.

And they experienced a powerful change of life.

Their lives were never the same again.

They were walking in His direction, to His destination, at His speed and in His steps.

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His Call Is Profound

All these men knew was the life of a fisherman.

But from now on, they would be angling for men.

They would cast the Gospel net into the sea of humanity.

*******

The Lord Jesus Christ passed by those boats by the Sea of Galilee that morning.

He called 4 specific men.

And their lives would never be the same again.

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How about you?

Is the Lord Jesus Christ calling you?


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Our Precious Possessions


2 Pet. 1:1-4

5 times in his 2 epistles, the apostle Peter mentions possessions that are precious to the people of God.

Let us go through them and take note of our precious possessions.

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There Are Precious Trials (1 Peter 1:7)

The apostle Peter tells us that the trials of life are very precious things.

They have a way of helping us.

They remove the impurities from our lives.

They bring us closer to the Lord.

We will be reminded of several great truths that we often forget when life is easy.

We will be reminded that :
  • The Lord Jesus is always with us.
  • Our valleys of life are planned by the Lord.
  • Our trials are helping us grow in the Lord.
  • Something better is waiting just down the way
  • Even when times are bad, God is still good.

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The trials and valleys of life are no fun and we would rather be spared having to go through them.

But when we have gone through the valley and come out on the other side, we will know the Lord better than we could have otherwise.

We will be stronger in the faith than we ever could have been.

The valley shows us a side of God we could never see otherwise.

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There Is Precious Blood (1 Peter 1:19)

The apostle Peter tells us that the Blood of Jesus is a precious substance.

It is of great price and is to be held in honor and great esteem.

It is the price of redemption.

It is the proof of God's love for us.

It is the only substance known to God or man that can cleanse away our sins.

It is pure blood that was shed by an innocent man.

And His blood and His death were accepted in place of our own by the Father in Heaven.

The blood of the Lord Jesus Christ is precious blood!

His blood, and the blood alone, makes us right with God.

It is precious blood.

We need to cherish, protect and proclaim the blood of Jesus.

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There Is A Precious Savior (1 Peter 2:6-7)

The apostle Peter tells us that the Lord Jesus Himself is precious.

His value to His believers is beyond all human comprehension.

He loves them.

He cares about them.

He understands their needs.

He is always near to help them.

He paid the ultimate price to save them.

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There Is A Precious Faith (2 Peter 1:1)

The apostle Peter tells us that our faith, our system of belief, is a precious thing.

It is the only one that is valid in the eyes of God!

All the people involved in all the other religious systems in the world are being deceived by their false doctrines.

There is one, and only one, means of salvation and that is through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Our faith is precious because:
  • It is free.
  • It is open to all.
  • It is complete.
  • It is totally the work of God.
  • It is foolproof.
  • It is eternal.
  • It is something that can be lived.

We must not take our precious faith for granted.

We must cherish our faith.

We must cherish and see the value in the things God has given to us.

We must protect the faith and passing it on to another generation.

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There Are Precious Promises (2 Peter 1:4)

The apostle Peter tells us that there are some promises of God that are valuable and are to be held in great esteem.

There is the promise of His Love.

There is the promise of His Presence.

There is the promise of His Provision.

There is the promise of His Grace.

There is the promise of His Heaven.

There are many promises contained in the pages of the Holy Scriptures.

God will bring them all to pass!

The promises of God are forever!

We can hold onto them for they shall never fail!

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God has indeed given us some very precious and valuable things.

Are we cherishing them as we should be?

Are we guarding the things of God and passing them along to others so that there will be another generation that knows God and will walk with Him?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Get Our Lives Out Of The Pit


1 Peter 5:5-10

Life is full of difficulties. But we must be determined to survive.

As Christians, we have a better reason to endure tough times. We live for God. We are assured in His Word that better times are ahead. In spite of the prosperity of the wicked, the righteous will be vindicated.

There are times when we find our lives down in the pits. We lose our desire to go on for God. We just want to give up.

How do we get our lives out of the pits?

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We Must Submit Ourselves To God (5:5-6).

We must surrender our will to God. We must allow God to have the place of pre-eminence in our lives.

We must clothe ourselves with humility. We must seek only to do God’s will, God’s plan, and God’s desire.

We must willingly place ourselves under God. He will lift us up in His own way. He will use us for His glory.

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We Must Send Our Worry To God (5:7)

We must cast all our anxiety to God because He cares for us. We must give them up once for all. We must give them all up. We must have absolute confidence that the Lord Jesus Christ Himself is actively involved in caring for us.

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We Must Strengthen Our Walk With God (5:8-9)

We must be serious about the devil's reality. Satan is real! Satan is a devil. He is a slanderer or a false accuser. He is our enemy. He hates us and wants to see us fall.

We must be serious about the devil's ferocity. The devil is like a roaring lion. He is forceful and is far stronger than us. We cannot fight him on our own. The devil is ferocious. He is never satisfied with his conquests. The devil roars to create fear in the hearts of God's children. Fear paralyzes faith! If the devil can get us to listen to his roar, he can keep us from hearing God's Word. If he can paralyze our faith, then he can attack our lives.

We must be serious about the devil's susceptibility. The devil can be defeated by the child of God! The secret to overcoming him is to resist him! We must stand up against the devil! We must be steadfast in our faith, knowing that the Lord has already defeated the devil and that victory for the child of God is found in the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Let us stand against him and see the victory! We can resist him and we can see him defeated in our lives. If we will resist him, he will flee from us. Let us grow in the Lord and strengthen our walk with Him daily through prayer and the study of His Word!

*******

We Must See The Work Of God (5:10)

One of the greatest incentives to walking in continuous victory is to be able to see the Lord at work all around us!

We must remember that God’s grace is sufficient for us. God would change us in the midst of our difficulty so that we could be successful in our walk with Him. There is grace for every trial and for everything we face as we go through life!

We must remember that we have the Lord’s promise of His Presence and His Promotion. Therefore let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith!

We must remember that when the suffering days are over, there are glory days ahead! We are going to a place where troubles and trials can no longer afflict the children of God.

*******

Are our lives in the pits? If so, there is a way out.

Let us submit ourselves to God.

Let us send our worries to God.

Let us strengthen our walk with God.

Let us see the work of God in our lives.


Friday, September 9, 2011

Reasons to Rejoice


1 Peter 1:1-5 (NIV)

The apostle Peter was writing to Jewish believers in exile.

These people had been forced to leave their homeland.

They had been dispersed into other parts of the world.

And, because of their beliefs and faith, they had been subjected to terrible persecutions and sufferings.

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The apostle Peter was writing this letter to encourage them in the faith.

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Th apostle Peter was reminding them that in the midst of their trials, there were some reliable reasons for rejoicing!

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They Were Saved By Grace (1:2-4)

  • They had been chosen
    - According to the foreknowledge of God the Father.
    - Through the sanctifying work of the Spirit of God.
    - To be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with His blood.

  • In the great mercy of God the Father, through the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead, they had been given a new birth into a living hope and an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade, and that is kept in heaven for them.

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They Were Sealed By God’s Power (1:5)

Through faith, they were shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.

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Since we are saved by grace, sealed by the Spirit of God and secured by the power of the Father, we can be absolutely certain that God’s salvation will last forever!

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Those who are saved by grace have reasons to rejoice.

Let us get our eyes off the troubles and turmoil that is going on in the world today.

Let us rejoice in our salvation.

Let us learn to praise God for who we are, what we have and where we are going!

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When we learn the secret that we can rejoice when we want to, it will make the rest of life far more bearable!

That is why every Christian must learn to rejoice!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Church Elder Is Not Given To Wine


Titus 1:7c

Wine is used as a symbol of joy.

Wine makes glad the heart of man.

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Wine is also used as a symbol of wrath of God against immorality.

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Deacons is not given to much wine. (1Tim. 3:8)

Deacons are permitted to partake of alcohol, but not in regularity, frequency, or quantity.

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Older women are not given to much wine. (Titus 2:3)

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In short, Christians must not be addicted to wine.

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Elder is not given to wine. (1 Timothy 3:3, Titus 1:7c)

A church elder is not to be with or near any wine at all.

He is to completely abstain from alcohol.

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Some said, "But Timothy, a pastor and elder, was instructed to drink wine."

But Timothy suffered from a number of internal physical problems.

Paul wrote to him and said, "No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach's sake and your frequent infirmities." (1Tim. 5:23)

Paul made an exception because of Timothy's condition.

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Some said, "But Jesus drank wine."

Yes, He did.

He created wine for the wedding in Cana of Galilee (John 2).

He drank wine with sinners and was accused of being a glutton and a drunkard (Luke 7:34).

He drank wine with the disciples at the Last Supper.

But He told the disciples during the Last Supper, "But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father's kingdom." (Matthew. 26:29)

Jesus doesn't drink wine anymore.

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Church elder must completely abstain from partaking any alcohol because of the dangers it presents to him as a spiritual man.

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Usage of alcohol can turn a church elder into one who loses control, clarity, and even consciousness.

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Using alcohol impairs his ability to think logically, make decisions rightly, and hear from God clearly.

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Alcohol tends to make people stupid.

A drunken man staggers in his vomit. (Is. 19:14)

Wine is a mocker, Strong drink is a brawler, And whoever is led astray by it is not wise. (Proverbs 20:1)

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Christians are not allowed to get drunk.

And Christians are not to associate with drunkards in the church. (1 Cor. 5:11)

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If we are not in spiritual authority, we do have the freedom to drink a little wine.

But we must make sure we don't make another Christian stumble. (Rom. 14:21)

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It is better not to drink.

No one is going to stumble if we don't drink.

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But just how many of us choose to exercise our freedom instead of walking in love?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Eternal Life


Titus 1:2-3 (NIV)

Paul's apostleship was for the purposes of evangelism and discipleship.

Apostle Paul was to bring faith to those chosen of God.

He was also to educate them in the knowledge of the truth that is according to godliness.

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Now, Paul continues his thoughts regarding faith and truth...

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1:2 In The Hope Of Eternal Life

Faith and truth are in the hope of eternal life.

In other words, eternal life is dependent upon having faith and walking in the truth.

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Those who don't have faith have no hope of eternal life.

Without faith, it is impossible to please God.

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In addition to faith, living in obedience to the truth according to godliness is also intricately tied to the hope of eternal life.

We have faith, but we must also walk in it, and live a life marked by it.

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What we need is an active faith, not passive.

Inactive faith isn't faith at all.

We must grab hold of eternal life by living a faithful life.

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If we have faith and walk in the truth of godliness, we can expect eternal life.

If we do not obey the truth, we don't have the hope of eternal life.

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We might be saved, but we have no real full assurance from the Scripture which reassures us that when we are not obeying the truth, we shouldn't expect anything but wrath and indignation.

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We are to build ourselves up on our most holy faith while waiting for eternal life.

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1:2 Promised Before The Beginning Of Time

Apostle Paul said that God promised eternal life long ages ago.

It wasn't just early in man's history that God promised eternal life.

God promised it before the beginning of time - before the creation even happened.

God chose us before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4).

To Him, our salvation was a deal done before the world was even created.

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1: 3 At His Appointed Season He Has Brought To Light

Eternal life was promised in eternity past.

But at the proper time it was brought to light.

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The Lord Jesus Christ has always existed.

But the world didn't see Him until He appeared to them.

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The Lord Jesus Christ is eternal, and He came to the world at the proper time.

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The Lord Jesus Christ came to us, then died for us, granting to us the promise of eternal life.

The death of the Lord Jesus Christ was at just the right time.

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1:3 Through The Preaching Entrusted To Me By The Command Of God Our Savior

Paul knew that he was one of the people entrusted with the task of preaching that message to people.

He'd been commanded by "God our Savior," that is the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Last Days


2 Timothy 3:1-15 (NIV)

3:1 In The Last Days

The term "the last days" refers to the days since the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The church has always lived in the last days.

But we are approaching the culmination, the finale of them.

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As the last days progress, difficult times for the righteous will come.

Mankind is going to become increasingly more evil.

As the human race continues to reject God and pursue its own wickedness, life will become more and more perilous for those who desire to live righteously.

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It will not be enough for the unrighteous to practice their wickedness, but they will attempt to force the righteous to accept their practices, to embrace their evil.

And when they do not, they will become violently opposed to them.

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3:2-4 Attributes Of People In The Last Days

Paul listed many things that we can expect near the end of this age.

It is like what we see in our society today.

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We have seen an incredible increase in the love of money.

Children are more disobedient to their parents.

There are more and more haters of the good.

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3:5 Form Without Power

Meanwhile, the church itself has embraced wickedness and evildoers.

The church is embracing a form of godliness, but denying its power.

They have the practices, but have no relationship with God.

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Paul said "Have nothing to do with such people."

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3:6-7 Those Who Enter And Gain Control

The false teachers now have the ability to enter into households.

They come in through the television set.

The poor people are held captive by the eloquent, well-dressed teachers.

But they are teachers of heresy!

The poor people will never come to a knowledge of the truth.

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3:8-9 Men Who Oppose The Truth

Jannes and Jambres were the magicians that opposed Moses in Exodus 7.

They were religious men, and proved their power by duplicating the miracles that Moses brought.

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In the last days, false teachers will also demonstrate their power with signs and wonders.

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Don't be deceived by miracles.

Listen to the messengers' message instead.

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3:10-12 Persecution For The Righteous

Instead of being like the people of the last days, we should be living as the apostle Paul did - teaching the same gospel, having the same faith, and living the same righteous life.

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But be warned, if we live a godly life, we will suffer persecution for it in these last days.

Are we willing to go against the flow of a wicked world in exchange for eternal life?

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3:13-15 Salvation Through Faith

Christianity for most people is not the Christianity of the Bible.

It is not about the TV evangelists, or the preachers that beg for money.

It's about the fact that every human being is a sinner, separated from God.

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But the good news of Christianity is that God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).

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If we by faith will receive the free gift of God, we will be saved.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Continue In The Faith


2 Timothy 1:1-12

Paul wrote again to young Pastor Timothy.

This time, he encouraged Timothy to continue in the faith, as he himself had done for so many years.

This was Paul's last letter before his death.

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1:1-2 The Will Of God

Paul knew that he was an apostle by the will of God.

How can we know the will of God for our life?

If we want to be in God's will, we must walk close to the Lord.

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1:3-5 Serve God With A Clear Conscience

Paul said he served God with a clear conscience.

If we listen to and act on the Word of God, if we conduct ourselves honorably, we will have a clear conscience.

We will be able to respond correctly with our sense of right and wrong.

If our actions are not in accordance with our beliefs, our conscience gets corrupted.

It is time that we all maintain a good conscience before God.

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1:6-7 Fan Into Flame The Gift Of God

When Paul laid hands on Timothy, a spiritual gift was imparted to Timothy.

It was thought that this gift was the gift of teaching.

But Timothy was shy and non-confrontational.

It was against his natural leanings to teach the Word in a powerful, loving, and disciplinary way.

Paul told Timothy to fan into flame the gift of the Spirit.

It is important that we continue to do things in the power of God's Spirit, rather than in the power of our flesh.

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1:8-12 Saved According To The Grace Of God

God has called us to become his children, not because of anything we have done, but because of His own purpose and grace.

There is no way we can ever live a good enough life to get to heaven, for we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

The Lord Jesus Christ died to pay our death penalty.

He offers to us eternal life.

That's grace.

Today, or right now, the Lord Jesus Christ is calling us to be saved from the death penalty of our sin.

Will we accept His free gift by surrendering our life to Him, and asking Him into our heart?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

True Godliness


1 Timothy 3:14-16(NIV)

Paul told Timothy that he was writing these things so that people would know how to conduct themselves in church.

What things?
  • Teachers should not teach strange doctrines.
  • Christians should obey and pray for the ruling authorities.
  • Women should be modest, and not be spiritual authorities over men.
  • Men should be godly in their character and behavior.
This is how we are to conduct ourselves in the church.

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Why is the church called God's household?

God's house is each of us that have been born again!

We are the household of God.

When we gather together in His name, the building becomes the house of God as well.

The term "God's household" is used to describe both the building and the believers.

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The household of God is the church.

What is the church for?

Why does it exist?

The church is supposed to be the pillar and foundation of the truth.

The church is supposed to cause the truth to be believed, received, and obeyed.

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If we abide in God's Word, our words and deeds will become one, and the truth will be powerfully proclaimed.

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Paul said the mystery from which true godliness sprang was great.

Firstly, the Lord Jesus Christ had appeared in the flesh; God Himself had become a man.

The Lord Jesus Christ was vindicated in the Spirit. The Holy Spirit proved the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Lord Jesus Christ was seen by angels. This happened all throughout His life on earth.

The Lord Jesus Christ was preached among the nations.

The Lord Jesus Christ was believed on in the world. Those who believe in Christ will live for eternity. Those who do not will die in their sins.

The Lord Jesus Christ was taken up in glory.

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The Lord Jesus Christ lived on this earth for about 33.5 years, until those who hated Him put him to death by nailing Him to a cross.

He died and was buried for 3 days.

But He rose from the dead.

After He rose from the dead, He appeared over the course of 40 days to over 500 people.

Finally, He was taken up in glory.

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But that's not the end of the story.

A day is coming soon that the Lord Jesus Christ will return to this earth.

In that day, the world will be judged for rejecting Him.

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You have heard the history.

It is the truth.

God came to earth to reach out to you, because you couldn't reach Him.

He died to take away the death penalty for your sins.

He's asking you to believe in Him, so that He can give you eternal life.

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Will you come?

The mystery from which true godliness springs is great.


Friday, August 5, 2011

Abundant Grace To Sinners


1 Timothy 1:8-17

Paul explained to Timothy that the Law is good if we use it lawfully.

We are to use the law to demonstrate the sinfulness of sinners.

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The Law is an effective witnessing tool.

It shows us our sinfulness.

It reveals the darkness in our hearts.

It demonstrates how short of perfection we fall.

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Until we realize that we are lost, we will have no desire to be found.

Until we find that we are guilty, we will have no desire to be pardoned.

Until we see our sins, we will have no need for a Savior.

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The Law is not made for a righteous man.

The Law is made for the lawless and rebellious.

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Paul tells Timothy that allowing, encouraging, or excusing sins are contrary to sound teaching.

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Paul thanks God for His abundant grace.

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At the time God saved Paul, he was in horrendous sin.

He was then known as Saul, and was an enemy of God and God's people.

He was a murderer and a persecutor of Christians.

But God called him to salvation.

And God called him to minister the gospel.

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Paul is a great example of God's abundant grace to sinners.

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Paul said that he is the worst of sinners.

But the Lord God still has mercy on him.

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Some of us are not as bad as Paul.

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God the Father had sent His Son to take the punishment for our sin.

The Lord Jesus Christ had died on the cross so that we could live.

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Can we see the sinfulness of our sins?

Can we understand why the Lord Jesus Christ has to die on the cross?

Look at Paul.

And see God's abundant grace to sinners.


Saturday, July 30, 2011

They have Met With The Lord Jesus Christ


Matthew 28:8-10

So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word. (Matthew 28:8)

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The women had come to the tomb with an emotion of sympathy.

That emotion of sympathy was turned into an emotion of fear when they met with the angel.

And tremendous joy as they left the tomb.

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They ran into the city to find the disciples.

They wanted to tell them the message from the angel.

The Lord Jesus Christ had risen from the dead.

They were to see the Lord Jesus Christ in Galilee!

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And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, "Rejoice!" So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him. (Matthew 28:9)

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As they went to tell His disciples, they met with the Lord Jesus Christ!

The Lord Jesus Christ met them on their way!

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He was in resurrection glory.

He was in physical form right on the road.

He was alive from the dead!

And He said to them, "Rejoice!"

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This took them to their fourth emotion.

They were filled with joy.

Now their joy had turned into worship!

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Immediately they held the Lord Jesus Christ by the feet and worshiped Him.

They knew who He was.

They knew He was the risen Christ.

And they knew He was to be adored and praised and glorified and worshiped and honored.

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Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me." (Matthew 28:10)

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The evidence was there.

It was true!

The Lord Jesus Christ had risen!

They were grasping the living Christ.

Now their worship turned to a new emotion.

There was a new feeling and a new attitude of hope.

And their hope was so clear now.

And they would again see Him in Galilee.

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Oh! They have met with the Lord Jesus Christ!



Sunday, July 24, 2011

What Do We See At The Cross?


Matthew 27:45-53

Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land. (Matthew 27:45)

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1. We see the wrath of God depicted in supernatural darkness.

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From 12 noon to 3 in the afternoon, the land became dark instantaneously.

The darkness at the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ represents God’s divine judgment.

The cross was the place for the pouring out of His wrath.

The darkness at the cross is His judgment of sin.

And the Lord Jesus Christ was the recipient of divine judgment.

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And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46)

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2. We see the holiness of God when He turned His back on His Son.

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After experiencing the fury of God, the Lord Jesus Christ cried out as He was separated from God.

God the Father turned His back on the Lord Jesus Christ because He can’t look on sin.

When God the Father turned His back on the lord Jesus Christ, He was confirming that the Lord Jesus Christ was bearing our sin.

The Lord Jesus Christ bore the weight of all the sin of all the ages.

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And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. (Matthew 27:50)

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3. We see the Lord Jesus Christ voluntarily gave up His life.

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The Lord Jesus Christ has power over death and life.

No one took His life from Him; He freely gave it.

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Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom (Matthew 27:51a).

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4. We see total access to God's holy presence.

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When the Lord Jesus Christ died, the veil was ripped from top to bottom.

At that very moment, the temple would have been filled with pilgrims and priests performing sacrifices.

Suddenly, to the horror of everyone, the Holy of Holies was exposed.

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The Lord Jesus Christ had paid the penalty for sin.

God throws His arms wide open to sinners.

We now can rush into the presence of God.

The separation no longer exists.

Te death of the Lord Jesus Christ removed it.

The barrier is no more.

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And the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, (Matthew 27:51b).

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We see a guarantee of God’s future Judgment.

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At the death of the Lord Jesus Christ, God the Father brought about a devastating earthquake in Jerusalem that split open rocks and created fissures in the ground.

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When God shook the earth at the death of the Lord Jesus Christ, He was giving the world a taste of what will happen in the future when the King returns.

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And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many. (Matthew 27:52-53)

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6. We see a guarantee of the resurrection of all who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.

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It was a real resurrection of bodies, not just spirits.

Not all bodies were raised, only select Old Testament saints.

They went into the holy city to testify to believers.

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The cross is the greatest hope for resurrection.

The Lord Jesus Christ had paid for our sin on the Cross.

We are free from death and free to live.

And in His kingdom we will have glorified bodies like His.

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What do you see at the cross?


Monday, July 18, 2011

Common Methods To Correct Wrong Doing


Matthew 27:1-10

After the Sanhedrin’s midnight court, the leaders hauled the Lord Jesus Christ to Pilate’s chamber to plead the death penalty.

It was then clear to Judas Iscariot that the Lord Jesus Christ would die.

Judas Iscariot was remorseful.

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1. Judas Iscariot wanted to do the right thing.

But what Judas did was not enough.

It was not true repentance.

True repentance involves our minds, emotions and will.

We must know that sin is wrong and desire to change.

We must have a profound hatred for sin because it offends God.

And we must decide to turn from sin and turn to God in faith.

True repentance involves every aspect of our being.

The remorse Judas Iscariot felt was a self-centered guilt.

He felt bad that he did wrong.

But God does not enter the picture.

The guilt he felt was all about himself.

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2. The chief priests and elders denied responsibility.

When Judas told them that he had betrayed innocent blood, they simply responded "What is that to us? You see to it!"

They were glad to make use of Judas Iscariot in the sin.

When Judas Iscariot offered to betray the Lord Jesus Christ, they did not push him away.

But when Judas realized that what he did was wrong, they kept their distance.

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3. The chief priests and elders tried to do good to ease their guilty conscience.

They would not take back the blood money.

So Judas Iscariot hurled the coins into the temple.

Then they picked the bloody money up.

They consulted together and bought the potter's field, to bury strangers.

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4. Judas Iscariot committed suicide

Judas Iscariot, so overwhelmed with grief, suffocated by his own sin and not knowing how to get rid of the guilt, hanged himself.

Judas Iscariot had a sense of his sinfulness.

But didn’t grasp the mercy of God.

He was crushed by the load of his own iniquity.

In betraying the Lord Jesus Christ, he did not commit a sin that could not be forgiven, for his sin was no greater than that of Peter’s denial.

What drove him to utter despair was that he would not look to the Lord Jesus Christ.

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Lesson:

In sorrow, do not ignore the gospel.

Never think you are in too desperate a condition for God’s love.

There is a repentance which can renew.

But a remorse feeling will only ruin even more.