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Stats: 1062380 members, 1234529 topics. Date: Thursday, 23 May 2013 at 04:20 AM
Understanding The "Grace Of God" And The "Gospel Of Grace" / Days of Praise (2) --- The Divine/Human Word / Does It Takes The Grace Of God For One Not To Indulge In Fornication/adultery? (1) (2) (3) (4)
|Re: Days of Praise - The Grace of Being Content by OLAADEGBU(m): 4:01am On May 15, 2011|
Present with the Lord
May 15, 2011
"We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord" (2 Corinthians 5:
This verse has proved of great comfort to many a sorrowing believer who has just lost a loved one. Especially if they know that the parent or child or friend was also a believer in the saving work and person of Christ, then--although they sorrow--they "sorrow not, even as others which have no hope" (1 Thessalonians 4:13).
For that loved one, though no longer in that old body which had perhaps been filled with pain, is now with the Lord. That is, he or she has been given a somewhat indescribable spiritual body in which to function in heaven until the coming resurrection day. Although that may not yet be the wonderful life that awaits them in their glorified, resurrection bodies in the ages to come, they will be "with Christ; which is far better" than this present life (Philippians 1:23).
There are a number of sincere believers who argue that dead Christians will simply "sleep" until He comes again to raise the dead. While a certain case can be developed for this "soulsleep" concept, it is hard to see how that could be "far better" than this present life. Paul said that he had a "desire to depart, and to be with Christ" and also that "to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain" (Philippians 1:23, 21). But what "gain" could there be for him in simply "sleeping" instead of continuing to live in Christ?
The Scriptures do not reveal much about that "intermediate state", as it has been called. But there is that intriguing verse about being "compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses" who perhaps are somehow watching us as we "run with patience the race that is set before us" here on earth (Hebrews 12:1). That possibility can be a real incentive to do just that. HMM
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|Re: Days of Praise - The Grace of Being Content by OLAADEGBU(m): 8:43am On May 16, 2011|
Slaves, and Souls of Men
May 16, 2011
"And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more: The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones . . . and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men" (Revelation 18:11-13)
This day of mourning will follow the destruction of Babylon the great, a mighty commercial and political center which "shall be utterly burned with fire" because "her sins have reached unto heaven" (Revelation 18:8, 5).
And what are those sins? And is "Babylon the Great" a literal city, the capital city of the empire of the beast in the last days? Or is it a metaphor depicting the wickedness of all such cities throughout the ages? Perhaps it is both!
In any case, this Babylon harbors many forms of wickedness hated by God--fornications, sorceries, bloodshed, etc. But the chief characteristic of its wickedness is its devotion to commercialism above all else. "The merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies" (Revelation 18:3).
Note especially the burden of the mournful cry "no man buyeth their merchandise any more," for these weeping-and-wailing shipmasters and other captains of industry had been "made rich by her" (Revelation 18:15) but suddenly it will all be gone.
And note that merchandise! Not only "gold and silver" but also "slaves, and souls of men." In the last days when this awful judgment falls, these merchants will still be trading in "slaves, and souls of men."
Sad to say, involuntary slavery was really not abolished by Wilberforce, or Lincoln, or even Martin Luther King! It is still thriving today, especially in certain Muslim and other non-Christian strongholds. But it will end when Christ returns and then all His redeemed followers will gladly "serve him" forever (Revelation 22:3). HMM
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|Re: Days of Praise - The Grace of Being Content by OLAADEGBU(m): 7:01pm On May 17, 2011|
The Virtue of Having Enemies
May 17, 2011
"Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets" (Luke 6:26)
It is no compliment to say about a Christian that he has no enemies, for that is the same as saying he has accomplished nothing. The apostle Paul had many bitter enemies, and they finally got him executed. In fact, almost all of the great heroes of the faith, through all the centuries since Satan gained his victory over Adam and Eve, have had to overcome bitter opposition from that wicked one.
So instead of resenting our enemies, we should thank God for them, for they enable us to become more like our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ! Only through such experiences can we learn what it means to say, with Paul: "I am crucified with Christ" (Galatians 2:20). Only if we have enemies can we learn to obey Christ's difficult command to "love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you" (Matthew 5:44).
The Lord Jesus easily could have called on twelve legions of angels to rout His enemies (Matthew 26:53). Instead, He submitted to their vicious insults and cruel tortures, even praying in His agony on the cross, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34). The enemies of Christ killed Him, but had they not done so, He would not have died for our sins, and we would be lost eternally. This is a mystery to ponder, and difficult to comprehend, yet, as the Bible promises, "Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee" (Psalm 76:10).
The enmity of men can thus be a channel of divine grace to the believer, for "tribulation worketh patience" (Romans 5:3), and "our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory" (2 Corinthians 4:17). HMM
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|Re: Days of Praise - The Grace of Being Content by OLAADEGBU(m): 6:01pm On May 18, 2011|
The Message of the Old Testament
May 18, 2011
"Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else" (Isaiah 45:22)
Ever since sin entered into God's created world, His message to all people of all ages has been the same. At the time of the curse, God prophesied that there soon would be a coming Redeemer--the seed of the woman who would crush the head of the serpent, although the Redeemer Himself would be made to suffer in order to do away with the effects of sin (Genesis 3:15). "For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul" (Leviticus 17:11).
God repeatedly warned the people of His hatred of sin and wickedness (see, for example, Psalm 5:4-6; Proverbs 6:16-19), but He recognized that humankind was totally incapable of measuring up to His standard of perfection. That great statement of righteous requirements, the Ten Commandments, demonstrated the utter impossibility of complete compliance (Exodus 20; Psalm 14; etc.) Conversely, God repeatedly extended His invitation to be rescued from sin and its effects and its necessary judgment by confidence in His plan for mankind. In our text, we see that "all the ends of the earth" have the opportunity to be "saved." "Surely, shall one say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come" (Isaiah 45:24).
This plan of God focuses on the promised Redeemer who would come to buy back humanity from its enslavement to sin. "A virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel" (Isaiah 7:14). "He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: . . . and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all" (Isaiah 53:5-6). JDM
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|Re: Days of Praise - The Grace of Being Content by OLAADEGBU(m): 9:04pm On May 19, 2011|
Sowing and Sleeping
May 19, 2011
"So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption" (1 Corinthians 15:42)
When a believer's soul and spirit leave the body and return to the Lord, it is significant that the New Testament Scriptures speak of the body, not as dead, but as sleeping. For example, Jesus said, "Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep" (John 11:11). This state is not "soul sleep" as some teach, for "to be absent from the body, |is| to be present with the Lord" (2 Corinthians 5:. The body is sleeping--not the soul.
Similarly, when the believer's body is laid in a grave, Paul speaks of this act not as a burial, but as sowing! "But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come? Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body" (1 Corinthians 15:35-38).
Just as a buried grain of wheat brings forth a fruitful plant, so the old, sin-corrupted, aching body of human flesh, sown in the ground, will some day come forth "fashioned like unto his glorious body" (Philippians 3:21), in which "there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain" (Revelation 21:4).
"So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body" (1 Corinthians 15:42-44). When a believer's body is sown in the ground, God will soon reap from it a body of glory which will last for eternity. HMM
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|Re: Days of Praise - The Grace of Being Content by OLAADEGBU(m): 9:35pm On May 19, 2011|
|Re: Days of Praise - The Grace of Being Content by OLAADEGBU(m): 3:20pm On Aug 23, 2011|
August 23, 2011
"Then the people rejoiced, for that they offered willingly, because with perfect heart they offered willingly to the LORD: and David the king also rejoiced with great joy" (1 Chronicles 29:9)
As the people brought gifts for the construction of the temple in Jerusalem, it is mentioned no less than six times in this chapter that their offerings were willing offerings (once in verses 6 and 14, twice each in verses 9 and 17). In fact, they were not only willing, but also joyful in their giving.
Joyful giving is not the usual response to a fundraising effort for a religious cause. The great proliferation of causes today--not only for churches but for multi-church or para-church projects, usually associated with high-pressure solicitations by professional money-raisers--has developed a growing cynicism in Christians toward all such appeals.
That is not the way it should be, "for God loveth a cheerful giver" (2 Corinthians 9:7). The churches of Macedonia, though going through "a great trial of affliction" and in "deep poverty," nevertheless "abounded unto the riches of their liberality" and they did so in "the abundance of their joy" (2 Corinthians 8:2). What made the difference was that they "first gave their own selves to the Lord" (2 Corinthians 8:5).
No doubt another vital factor leading to the joyful offerings of the people for the building of the temple was the example set by David's great personal joyful generosity, followed by that of all the other leaders of Israel (1 Chronicles 29:3-. This encouraged the people also to give "with perfect heart" (today's verse). They had evidently, like the Philippians of Macedonia, also first given themselves to the Lord. David had led them by example, not coercion, reminding himself and his people as he prayed a prayer of thanksgiving that "all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee" (1 Chronicles 29:14). HMM
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|Re: Days of Praise - The Grace of Being Content by aletheia(m): 6:54pm On Aug 23, 2011|
^ Welcome back sir! We really missed your presence. Hope all's well.
|Re: Days of Praise - The Grace of Being Content by Enigma(m): 7:05pm On Aug 23, 2011|
Welcome back too from me, nice to 'see' you again.
|Re: Days of Praise - The Grace of Being Content by dare2think: 7:15pm On Aug 23, 2011|
I actually searched for you yesterday and realised that it's being almost four months since you last posted.
Nice to have you back.
Just to brief you on the last couple of months; Tithing is the hot topic right now
Forgive my Ameboism
|Re: Days of Praise - The Grace of Being Content by OLAADEGBU(m): 10:08pm On Aug 23, 2011|
Thanks for earnestly contending for the faith. I've been reading some of your defenses of the gospel and may the good Lord be with us as we sanctify His name.
|Re: Days of Praise - The Grace of Being Content by OLAADEGBU(m): 10:11pm On Aug 23, 2011|
Thanks for keeping the gospel light burning. May the Lord give you more grace to will and do His good Will in Jesus' name.
|Re: Days of Praise - The Grace of Being Content by OLAADEGBU(m): 10:25pm On Aug 23, 2011|
Thanks for your concern. This goes to show your love the truth and I pray that the Lord guide and direct us to the right path until the daystar in our hearts appear.
I'm not surprised that tithing is the hot topic as it has always been. The Bible says the love of money is the root of all evil. I have learnt that I have to arrange my priorities right so that all things will fall in line accordingly. God must take priority over my finances and time as the good book says "Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you".
Your Ameboism is all forgiven.
|Re: Days of Praise - The Grace of Being Content by Sweetnecta: 11:43pm On Aug 23, 2011|
^^^^^^^^^^^ thats the dude i missed.
for days, i thought about you. i am glad you well.
|Re: Days of Praise - The Grace of Being Content by OLAADEGBU(m): 5:20pm On Aug 28, 2011|
I missed you guys too. It's nice to know that you wished me well, it is also my prayer that it shall be well with you.
|Re: Days of Praise - The Grace of Being Content by OLAADEGBU(m): 5:25pm On Aug 28, 2011|
|Re: Days of Praise - The Grace of Being Content by OLAADEGBU(m): 6:16pm On Aug 28, 2011|
Modern Science in an Ancient Book
August 28, 2011
"Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the Lord hath wrought this?" (Job 12:9).
The book of Job is one of the oldest books in the world, yet it contains numerous references to natural systems and phenomena, some involving facts of science not discovered by scientists until recent centuries, yet recorded in Job almost 4,000 years ago.
A good example is in 26:7. "He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing." While ancient mythologies may imagine the earth to be carried on the shoulders of Atlas or on the back of a giant turtle, Job correctly noted that it is suspended in space. The force of "gravity" is still not understood, and it is quite reasonable to believe that God Himself holds it in the assigned place in His creation.
There is a reference to the rotation of the earth in 38:14. "It is turned as clay to the seal." This speaks of the smooth turning of the globe to receive the sun's daily illumination.
"The springs of the sea" are mentioned in 38:16, even though it has only been discovered in recent decades that there are springs of water emerging from certain parts of the deep ocean floor. The fact that mountains have "roots," consisting of rocks of the same nature and density as the mountains themselves, is noted in 28:9.
The infinite extent of the stellar heavens, contradicting the ancient pagan notion of a vaulted sky with stars affixed to a sort of hemispherical dome, is suggested in 22:12. "Is not God in the height of heaven? and behold the height of the stars, how high they are!" (see also Isaiah 55:9, etc.).
There are many other scientific insights in this remarkable book and no scientific errors. The logical conclusion, as our text says, is that "the hand of the Lord hath wrought this." HMM
|Re: Days of Praise - The Grace of Being Content by OLAADEGBU(m): 4:30pm On Aug 31, 2011|
The Word of Life
August 31, 2011
"Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain" (Philippians 2:16)
The Bible is always the best commentary on itself--especially when the word or phrase is not frequent. In this case, "the word of life" is only used twice and might be "interpreted" in various ways without this qualifier: "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life" (1 John 1:1).
In the context of Philippians 2, the emphasis is obviously on the person and work of our Lord Jesus. We who bear His name are His "sons" and are charged with the responsibility of being "lights" (Philippians 2:15) to a world that is steeped in darkness. The light that we shine is the word of life--and that is, according to the Scriptures, the person and work of Jesus Christ.
Thus, the word of life must certainly involve who Christ is (Creator, Lord, Incarnate Word, King) as well as the "glorious gospel" of salvation by grace (2 Corinthians 4:4). Charged with the responsibility of "holding forth the word of life," we are to be "the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God" (1 Corinthians 4:1). Thus, we should be well-versed in the written Word, since Jesus specifically said: "Search the scriptures . . . they are they which testify of me" (John 5:39).
Ultimately, of course, our "light" comes from "The Light." Since we have been delivered "from the power of darkness" (Colossians 1:13) by our Lord’s substitutionary atonement, we who "were sometimes darkness" are now "light in the Lord: walk as children of light" (Ephesians 5:. HMM III
For more . . . .
|Re: Days of Praise - The Grace of Being Content by OLAADEGBU(m): 11:02am On Sep 03, 2011|
Faith, Substance, and Evidence
September 3, 2011
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1)
The eleventh chapter of Hebrews, known as the great Hall of Fame of Faith reciting the faith and resulting action of many Old Testament heroes, begins with a description of what faith is.
First, we see that it is the "substance of things hoped for." Biblically, we know that the Christian "hope" is a hope so real it has substance in the present. None of the people of faith recited in this chapter actually saw the promises made to them come to fruition, but they so believed in them that they lived in the present as if the future were reality.
The word "substance" occurs only two other times in Hebrews. It is used to speak of Christ as the exact representation of God's essence and nature, "Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person |i.e., substance|" (Hebrews 1:3). It is also translated "for we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end" "confidence," (Hebrews 3:14), and speaks of a deep assurance. Putting this all together, our text could then be rendered, "faith is the essence of our assurance of things yet in the future."
The word "evidence" could be translated "conviction," or even "proof." The word implies a logical, airtight argument. "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof |same word as 'evidence'|, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" (2 Timothy 3:16). This sort of evidence is something we know to be true, something about which we have such conviction we act accordingly.
The first half of the verse brings a future truth down into the present; the second half commits our lives to that truth. JDM
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|Re: Days of Praise - The Grace of Being Content by OLAADEGBU(m): 10:47pm On Sep 04, 2011|
The Doctrine of the Few
September 4, 2011
"The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people" (Deuteronomy 7:7)
Modern people--even Christians--tend to measure success in terms of bigness. God's measure, on the other hand, is based on quality, not quantity. There were undoubtedly millions of people on the earth, for example, when the Flood came in the days of Noah, but only "few, that is, eight souls were saved" as the waters lifted up the Ark (1 Peter 3:20).
A few centuries after the Flood, populations had again increased, and great nations had developed in Egypt and Sumeria and elsewhere. But God called one man, Abraham, to establish a new nation, and Abraham obeyed. A number of great nations (Arabs, etc.) came from Abraham, but again God chose only one--Israel, to inherit the promise. Israel did grow, but as our text shows, even this chosen nation was nearly always insignificant compared to other nations.
In Israel's history, many instances are recorded when God used just a few to battle many. God used Gideon's 300 men to defeat 135,000 Midianites (Judges 7:7; 8:10). Similar deliverances occurred in the days of David, Asa, Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah, and others.
In the New Testament, the Lord Jesus told His disciples that "where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them" (Matthew 18:20). He also said to them: "Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom" (Luke 12:32).
God's criterion is that of motivation rather than multiplication. "Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it" (Matthew 7:14). But those few will be faithful servants and will someday hear Him say: "Well done, thou good and faithful servant . . . enter thou into the joy of thy Lord" (Matthew 25:21). HMM
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|Re: Days of Praise - The Grace of Being Content by OLAADEGBU(m): 6:41am On Sep 05, 2011|
September 5, 2011
"And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life" (Philippians 4:3)
Although the word "yokefellow" is out of use today, the meaning is easily understood. Most of us know a yoke is a device that connects two animals together to increase the power for the work that needs to be done.
Jesus said "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light" (Matthew 11:29-30). From a spiritual perspective, we labour together with the Lord Jesus. Among ourselves, we labor in the gospel. It is worth noting that God sees the marriage bond as "joined together" (same term) with a yoke (Matthew 19:6).
Interestingly, as Paul speaks highly of the women who "laboured" with him, he uses two very different concepts to recognise their contribution. First, he describes them as sunathleo, or those who are "engaged in the contest" with him, like "a man also |strives| for masteries" (2 Timothy 2:5). Then Paul uses sunergos to describe those who have accomplished meaningful work alongside him. Titus is described as Paul’s "partner and fellowhelper" (2 Corinthians 8:23). These women had evidentially earned Paul’s respect for their commitment to the kingdom work.
Although the picture drawn by these synonymns rests on the work aspect, surely there is the assumption that those who are yoked together are anticipating a common goal. Jesus, with "the joy that was set before him endured the |work of the| cross" (Hebrews 12:2). And we labour in the kingdom since our "names are in the book of life." HMM III
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|Re: Days of Praise - The Grace of Being Content by OLAADEGBU(m): 12:57pm On Sep 06, 2011|
Sacrifice and Service
September 6, 2011
"Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all" (Philippians 2:17)
Paul saw himself as "poured out" as an offering (Greek spendo) on the "sacrifice and service" of these precious friends. This special word is used only one other time, when Paul was "ready to be offered" at his death (2 Timothy 4:6).
Paul's ministry among the Philippians resulted in the godly lifestyle of the church. They became sacrifices (Greek thusia) much like the Lord Jesus "hath given himself for us" (Ephesians 5:2) and as we are all told to "present |our| bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is |our| reasonable service" (Romans 12:1).
The service that is commended of the Philippians is a public service undertaken at one's own expense (Greek leitourgia). Several men in the church at Antioch were noted for their ministry (Acts 13:2 uses the same word), and some in Macedonia and Achaia were also acknowledged for giving contributions to the saints at Jerusalem (Romans 15:26-27).
Paul's joy and rejoicing at the godly activity of the faithful saints at Philippi is the key to understanding the tone of the entire book. He had "poured out" himself, even being "shamefully entreated" during his ministry there (1 Thessalonians 2:2). Yet while writing this poignant letter back to the church, he gives joyful greetings to them at the certain knowledge that his ministry among them has resulted in their sacrifice and service.
Would God that all of us could see our offerings for the sake of others with the same passionate expectation. Often our Lord calls on us to give of ourselves in selfless ways so that others may learn from our example. Sometimes, we must even pour out our own souls (1 Thessalonians 2: for the sake of the gospel. HMMIII
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|Re: Days of Praise - The Grace of Being Content by OLAADEGBU(m): 3:12pm On Sep 07, 2011|
September 7, 2011
"For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners, as were all our fathers: our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding" (1 Chronicles 29:15)
All of God's people, whether ancient Israelites or latter-day Christians, need to recognize that we are mere "strangers and pilgrims on the earth" (Hebrews 11:13). This world is not our home, as the old gospel song puts it, and we must not let our roots get down too deep in this materialistic world.
The words of our text are in David's last recorded prayer before his death. He was a great king and very wealthy in material things, but he still recognized that his real home was not in the earthly Jerusalem, but in heaven.
So should we. The apostle Paul wrote, "For our conversation |the Greek word here literally means 'citizenship'| is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ" (Philippians 3:20). We are merely serving in this world as "ambassadors for Christ," and our business here, representing the court of heaven, is to urge men, "in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God" (2 Corinthians 5:20).
Why should we spend so much time and money in beautifying a home on earth when Christ has gone to prepare a mansion for us in heaven (John 14:2)? Remember Abraham, who by faith "sojourned . . . in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob" (Hebrews 11:9). "But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city" (Hebrews 11:16).
Also remember Paul who had "no certain dwellingplace" (1 Corinthians 4:11), not to mention the Lord Jesus Himself who had "not where to lay his head" (Matthew 8:20). We do well, therefore, to "pass the time of |our| sojourning here in fear" (1 Peter 1:17)--that is, reverential fear of God (never fear of man), as good citizens of our heavenly country. HMM
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|Re: Days of Praise - The Grace of Being Content by OLAADEGBU(m): 9:49am On Sep 08, 2011|
The Righteous Judge
September 8, 2011
"That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" (Genesis 18:25)
People often make erroneous judgments. Even those who are officially appointed or elected to judge others are sometimes mistaken, and so we have a whole system of appeals courts. Yet even the Supreme Court, composed as it is of fallible human beings, often seems to be wrong. But, as Abraham recognized long ago while interceding for the people in Sodom, we can be confident that the Judge of all the earth will do right!
He not only can judge our actions in relation to His revealed will, but can also discern thoughts and motives and, therefore, "judge the secrets of men" (Romans 2:16), and He will do so in absolute rightness. Furthermore, "he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead" (Acts 17:31). "The Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: . . . and my judgment is just," asserted the Lord Jesus (John 5:22, 30). To those who reject or ignore His redeeming love, relying instead on their own worth, "there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries" (Hebrews 10:26-27).
To those who have been redeemed through saving faith in Christ, there will, indeed, be a Judgment Day, but it will be for dispensing of rewards for faithful service rather than for salvation, and this also will be done righteously. "Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day" (2 Timothy 4:. HMM
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|Re: Days of Praise - The Grace of Being Content by OLAADEGBU(m): 2:08pm On Sep 09, 2011|
September 9, 2011
"It may be the LORD thy God will hear all the words of Rabshakeh, whom the king of Assyria his master hath sent to reproach the living God; and will reprove the words which the LORD thy God hath heard: wherefore lift up thy prayer for the remnant that are left" (2 Kings 19:4)
These words were part of King Hezekiah's plea to Isaiah for help in prayer against Rabshakeh and the Assyrian army besieging Jerusalem. It marks the second time in which this particular word is used for "the remnant," the first being in Genesis 45:7, when Joseph assured his brothers that God had sent him into Egypt to preserve for Israel "a posterity" in the earth. However, this word (Hebrew sherith) is prominent later in the writings of the prophets, who frequently refer to the faithful Israelite "remnant" during times of apostasy.
The same doctrine appears in the New Testament. Speaking of the children of Israel during the time of their dispersion among the nations because of their rejection of Christ, the apostle Paul says: "Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace" (Romans 11:5). There are many Jews even today who have received Jesus as their Messiah and personal Saviour, even though Israel as a nation still rejects Him.
This biblical doctrine of the remnant applies especially to faithful Israelites who witness to God's truth even in times of national apostasy. Nevertheless, the principle seems also to apply to so-called Christian nations as well--such as the nations of Europe and America. Although nominally "Christian," each of these nations, like the church at Sardis, "hast a name that thou livest, and art dead" (Revelation 3:1), as far as true biblical Christianity is concerned. Nevertheless, in each, there is still a remnant of real believing Christians, and these have the great responsibility to maintain a true witness for Christ in just such a time as this. HMM
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|Re: Days of Praise - The Grace of Being Content by OLAADEGBU(m): 9:17am On Sep 10, 2011|
September 10, 2011
"I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live" (Deuteronomy 30:19)
Shortly before his death, Moses restated the law and the covenant between God and His people summed up in the greatest commandment: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might" (Deuteronomy 6:5).
Furthermore, Moses claimed that "this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven. . . . Neither is it beyond the sea" (Deuteronomy 30:11-13). Nothing about it was hard to understand. "But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it" (Deuteronomy 30:14).
Indeed, the evidence that God is Creator, Judge, Provider, and Redeemer is all around us. Our text informs us that "heaven and earth" are witnesses of God's nature. We have more than enough information than we need in order to respond. In fact, these things "from the creation of the world are clearly seen" so that those who reject are "without excuse" (Romans 1:20). Indeed, to ignore the evidence of creation and the Flood, one must be "willingly . . . ignorant" (2 Peter 3:5). Rejection is foolishness.
"See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil" (Deuteronomy 30:15). The choice is between blessing (v. 16) and cursing (v. 19). All lines of reasoning point toward the God of the Bible as the one true God. "Therefore choose life," as our text encourages us, "That thou mayest love the Lord thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life" (v. 20). JDM
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|Re: Days of Praise - The Grace of Being Content by OLAADEGBU(m): 2:22pm On Sep 11, 2011|
September 11, 2011
"And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?" (Revelation 6:10)
This poignant cry has often been raised by suffering believers anxious to see the Lord work on their behalf. It was often recorded in Scripture under such circumstances, first in Psalm 6:3 and last of all in our text above (see also Psalm 74:10; 90:13; Zechariah 1:12; etc.).
The cry in our text is from "the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held" (Revelation 6:9). The context would indicate that these souls are of those who will die under future persecutions, but the principle surely applies to the martyrs of every age. When they were slain, it was only their physical bodies which died, while their souls live on in heaven, aware of events on earth. This truth, in fact, applies to all who die trusting in Christ as their Savior.
All of these men and women, both while yet alive in the body and also later when "absent from the body, and . . . present with the Lord" (2 Corinthians 5:, have longed for the day when Christ will come to complete "the redemption of the purchased possession" (Ephesians 1:14) and when finally God will answer the age-long prayers of His people as they prayed, "Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:10).
For several generations now, Christians have been asking (even singing!) the great question of our text, "How long, O Lord?"
The signs of His soon coming multiply, yet we still wait. Nevertheless, He has promised to return, and His Word is true and sure. He will come--perhaps today! "For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry" (Hebrews 10:37). HMM
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|Re: Days of Praise - The Grace of Being Content by OLAADEGBU(m): 4:16pm On Sep 12, 2011|
September 12, 2011
"Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it" (Matthew 7:13-14)
It is sobering to realize that the multitudes who believe that all people are "going to the same place" actually are all going to the same place, for they are all traveling the broad way to destruction. It was God Himself, through Jesus Christ, who said that few (few!) ever find the way to eternal life. That narrow way to life is only through Christ, who said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (John 14:6).
The word for "way" in both Old and New Testaments means a road, or journey. Figuratively, it is often used for a lifestyle. The Bible makes it plain, again and again, that there are two ways and two destinies: "The LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish" (Psalm 1:6).
The first "way" mentioned in Scripture is "the way of the tree of life," guarded by mighty cherubim and a flaming sword (Genesis 3:24) after Adam and Eve had rejected the authority of their Creator. The second "way" mentioned is when "all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth" and God had to decree "the end of all flesh" (Genesis 6:12-13).
The great tragedy is that while there are relatively few who "do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life" (Revelation 22:14), the way is freely open, through Christ, to all who will come to Him. Therefore, each sincere soul should pray, "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting" (Psalm 139:23-24). HMM
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|Re: Days of Praise - The Grace of Being Content by OLAADEGBU(m): 12:07pm On Sep 13, 2011|
Rebels against the Light
September 13, 2011
"They are of those that rebel against the light; they know not the ways thereof, nor abide in the paths thereof" (Job 24:13)
One of the most common objections to the Christian gospel is our insistence that belief in Christ is necessary for salvation. What about those who never hear of Christ--are they lost as well as those who willfully reject Him?
Because of this problem, a number of evangelicals are now saying that people in other religions can be saved if they live up to whatever light they have, whether in nature or conscience or religion. The problem is that they do not live up to the light they have. "This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil" (John 3:19).
There is, indeed, much light in the creation. In fact, Romans 1:20 says these evidences "from the creation of the world are clearly seen"-- in fact, so clearly seen that men are "without excuse" when they reject this light. But reject it they have. They "changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things" (v. 23). In fact, "all have sinned" (Romans 3:23) and thus are lost without Christ.
But are there some who accept and follow whatever light they have, and will God save them? Consider the testimony of Cornelius. He was "a devout man, and one that feared God" (Acts 10:2), and Peter was sent to him by God to tell him about Christ. "In every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him," Peter said (v. 35). Cornelius was not actually saved, however, until he personally believed on Christ. The implication may be that God will send more light by some "Peter" to those few who do believe and obey what light they already have. Once they finally hear of Christ and His great salvation, they will gladly receive Him and be saved--but not before. HMM
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|Re: Days of Praise - The Grace of Being Content by Phat Booty(f): 2:26pm On Sep 13, 2011|
@forum,how do you know that your prayers have been answered?
|Re: Days of Praise - The Grace of Being Content by OLAADEGBU(m): 3:26pm On Sep 13, 2011|
For your prayers to be answered you will have to be in the will of God. Being in the will of God in your relationship with Jesus Christ in Word and in prayer. Then His answer can be Yes, No or wait. For God is never late He is always on time, at the right time He will surely come through.
|Re: Days of Praise - The Grace of Being Content by OLAADEGBU(m): 9:38am On Sep 15, 2011|
The Clothing of a Virtuous Woman
September 14, 2011
"Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come" (Proverbs 31:25)
This testimony notes a vital aspect of the character of the virtuous woman eulogized in the final 22 verses of Proverbs 31. The writer composed it as an acrostic, with each of its verses beginning with the appropriate letter of the 22-letter Hebrew alphabet, probably suggesting thereby that one needs all the resources of human language in describing a truly ideal woman.
She is industrious in providing clothing for her family ("all her household are clothed with scarlet" and her own "clothing is silk and purple," because she "layeth her hands to the spindle"--Proverbs 31:21-22, 19). But more importantly, her spiritual clothing is strength and honor, more lovely even than beautiful garments.
Two great apostles of the New Testament give similar testimonies. Peter exhorted Christian wives not to emphasize outward appearance. "Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price" (1 Peter 3:3-4).
Likewise the apostle Paul urged "that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works" (1 Timothy 2:9-10).
Thus the exhortation of Scripture is for Christian women to be primarily concerned with their spiritual clothing--strength of character, honour, quietness of spirit, and good works. "Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised" (Proverbs 31:30). HMM
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