|Join Nairaland / Login / Trending / Recent / New|
Stats: 1077115 members, 1265732 topics. Date: Thursday, 20 June 2013 at 07:54 AM
The Power Of Praise And Worship For Infertility / Understanding The "Grace Of God" And The "Gospel Of Grace" / 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): 6:20am On Jul 04, 2012|
July 3, 2012
"And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the a ss; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you" (Genesis 22:5).
We tend to think of "worship" as singing, or testimonies, or hearing a message. This could hardly be the meaning in our text, however, for Abraham was intending to offer Isaac on a sacrificial altar in accordance with God's command. Furthermore, Isaac was willing to be offered. "They went both of them together" (vv. 6, 8 ). Isaac, in fact, was not just a little boy at this time. The word "lad" in our text is the same word as "young men" in the same verse.
The first time the Hebrew word for "worship" is used is in Genesis 18:2. When Abraham saw three men approaching (later revealed as the Lord and two angels), he "bowed himself toward the ground." Thus "worship" means, essentially, "bow down" in obedience to the will of the one deserving "worship."
Abraham's supreme act of worship, however, was his willingness even to sacrifice his beloved son, if God's will so required. He trusted so fully in God that he knew "God was able to raise him up, even from the dead" (Hebrews 11:19), and so he could tell his two servants that he and Isaac would "come again to you." No wonder Abraham is called "the father of all them that believe" (Romans 4:11). He was, indeed, "strong in faith" (v. 20).
The New Testament Greek word for "worship" also means essentially to bow down to God's will. It occurs first when the wise men came to King Herod seeking the infant Saviour, saying: "We . . . are come to worship him" (Matthew 2:2). As long ago a great man on Earth bowed down to the three from heaven, so now these great men on Earth with their three precious gifts bow down to One from heaven, the One who alone is worthy of true worship. HMM
For more . . . .
|Re: Days of Praise - The Grace of Being Content by OLAADEGBU(m): 6:32am On Jul 04, 2012|
July 4, 2012
"Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God" (Romans 8:21).
This verse contains the first of eleven occurrences of the Greek word eleutheria, "liberty," and defines the basic spiritual message of this splendid word. Because of sin, God has subjected the whole creation, animate and inanimate, to "the bondage of corruption."
That is, everything is governed by a law of decay--a law of such universal scope that it is recognised as a basic law of science--the law of entropy, stipulating that everything tends to disintegrate and die.
Christ died for sin, however, and defeated death, so that He will someday deliver the whole groaning creation from its bondage into the glorious freedom from decay and death that will also be enjoyed by all who have received eternal life through faith in Christ.
This ultimate, perfect liberty can even now be appropriated in type and principle through looking into "the perfect law of liberty" (James 1:25), the Holy Scriptures.
When we become children of God, the Holy Spirit henceforth indwells our bodies, and "where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty" (2 Corinthians 3:17).
Sometimes, however, Christians may abuse this new freedom from the law of sin and death, turning it into license, and this becomes a tragic perversion of Christian liberty. "For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another" (Galatians 5:13).
While not abusing our freedom in Christ, we must nevertheless "stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free" (Galatians 5:1), and look forward to the glorious liberty of the ages to come. HMM
For more . . . .
|Re: Days of Praise - The Grace of Being Content by OLAADEGBU(m): 11:32pm On Jul 04, 2012|
|Re: Days of Praise - The Grace of Being Content by OLAADEGBU(m): 9:37am On Jul 05, 2012|
The King of Glory
July 5, 2012
"Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah" (Psalm 24:10).
In the upper room just before His betrayal, the Lord Jesus prayed to His Father, remembering "the glory which I had with thee before the world was" (John 17:5). He had left heaven, however, when "the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth" (1:14). Then, when He miraculously turned water into wine at the wedding in Galilee, He "manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him" (John 2:11).
In the days of His flesh, His glory was veiled, however, except in His life and words of grace and truth, and in His mighty works. He "made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross" (Philippians 2:7-8 ).
Finally, His glory seemed to be gone forever as He lay in a borrowed tomb. But then "God . . . raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God" (1 Peter 1:21).
He is now "the Lord of glory" (James 2:1), who, being the very "brightness of |God's| glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high" (Hebrews 1:3).
As He ascended back to heaven, all His hosts of angels welcomed their Lord of hosts with a mighty anthem of praise: "Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory" (Psalm 24:9-10). HMM
For more . . . .
|Re: Days of Praise - The Grace of Being Content by OLAADEGBU(m): 11:38am On Jul 05, 2012|
|Re: Days of Praise - The Grace of Being Content by OLAADEGBU(m): 9:36pm On Jul 06, 2012|
Not So, Lord
July 6, 2012
"But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean" (Acts 10:14).
This response of Peter to the Lord's command is a self contradiction. How could He be Peter's Lord if Peter felt free to disobey His command?
The doctrine and practice of the Lordship of Christ have always been difficult and controversial. Many Christians who have called Him their Saviour and Lord nevertheless often feel free to question or disregard His Word. There may be legitimate discussion concerning interpretation of the Word, but there is never justification for questioning its authority, regardless of the pretenses of modern intellectuals or the pressures of public opinion. As the Lord Jesus Christ rebukingly asked, "Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?" (Luke 6:46).
There was an earlier occasion when Peter revealed this same inconsistency. When Christ told of His imminent crucifixion, Peter "began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee" (Matthew 16:22). The Lord, therefore, had to rebuke Peter. It was not Peter's prerogative, nor is it ours, to question the Word of the Lord, even when we don't yet understand it.
That kind of attitude can, under certain circumstances, have deadly and eternal consequences. Jesus warned those who would profess His Lordship without its reality: "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord. . . . And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity" (Matthew 7:22-23).
Peter learned this lesson and was soon able to confess unreservedly concerning Christ that "he is Lord of all" (Acts 10:36). We who "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ" for salvation (Acts 16:31) certainly should seek to believe and obey His Word in all things. HMM
For more . . . .
|Re: Days of Praise - The Grace of Being Content by OLAADEGBU(m): 10:17pm On Jul 06, 2012|
|Re: Days of Praise - The Grace of Being Content by OLAADEGBU(m): 7:18am On Jul 07, 2012|
July 7, 2012
"This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over to lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness" (Ephesians 4:17-19).
In verses 1-3, Paul encourages believers to "walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." This humble, patient, loving, peaceful walk contrasts sharply with the walk described in our text.
The walk of those outside Christ is characterized by "the vanity of their mind"--empty, futile thinking. The same word for "vanity" is used elsewhere for those who deny the obvious evidence for creation, who "became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools" (Romans 1:21-22). They are ignorant and blind, our text says, with darkened understanding and a blind heart. This has led them into a position of alienation from God, dead to any prompting they might receive from within or without. The result of such a mindset is a shameless, reprobate lifestyle, full of lasciviousness, uncleanness, and greediness.
Thankfully, we "have not so learned Christ" (Ephesians 4:20). We are to be "renewed in the spirit of |our| mind" (v. 23) and walk aright. "Walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us" (5:2). "Walk as children of light" (5:8 ). "Walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise" (5:15), "filled with the Spirit" (5:18 ). Our Creator promises us an inward "new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness" (4:24). JDM
For more . . . .
|Re: Days of Praise - The Grace of Being Content by OLAADEGBU(m): 9:12am On Jul 09, 2012|
July 8, 2012
"Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write;. . . I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars" (Revelation 2:1-2).
This church, founded by the apostle Paul, had grown in its doctrinal precision and careful attention to the words of Scripture. They were intensely focused on purity of leadership and were vigilant against any form of false teaching. Most of us would find that kind of church a refreshing example to follow in these days of indifferent (and often heretical) theology.
They hated the "deeds of the Nicolaitanes," which was a horrible practice that the Lord Himself hated (Revelation 2:6). Peter had warned against this domineering attitude in his first general letter to the churches when he insisted that the elders of the churches should not be "lords over God's heritage, but |be| ensamples to the flock" (1 Peter 5:3).
Ephesus was a "good" church, but the risen Lord Jesus had "somewhat against" them. Apparantly, amid all of their careful attention to doctrine and to purity of leadership lifestyle, they had "left |their| first love" (Revelation 2:4). They had fallen from the deep bond of love they had demonstrated years earlier when Paul called the elders to Miletus to encourage and exhort them to remain faithful to "all the counsel of God"( (Acts 20:27). They were so much in tune with Paul's heart for the gospel that they "all wept sore, and fell on Paul's neck, and kissed him" (Acts 20:37).
The drift away from that "first love" was so serious that the Lord warned Ephesus to repent or He would take away their "candlestick"(Revelation 2:5)--their authority to represent Christ as one of His churches. Cold, precise doctrine must never take away our love for people or for the truth. HMM III
For more . . . .
|Re: Days of Praise - The Grace of Being Content by OLAADEGBU(m): 10:07pm On Jul 09, 2012|
July 9, 2012
"And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; . . . I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) . . . Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer . . . be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life" (Revelation 2:8-10).
The Lord Jesus recognised this struggling church, which is not mentioned anywhere else in the New Testament, as one of only two churches mentioned in the book of Revelation that did not receive any warning or condemnation.
He saw them very differently than our "church growth" movement might today. Many tend to envy the churches with big auditoriums or grand building programmes. Most of the world praises those churches that are "emerging" from the restraints of godliness and churches that are "driven" to attract and please the ungodly.
Smyrna was poor, troubled by those who hated God’s message, and suffered tribulation for their works. Some were thrown into prison for their willingness to be identified with the truth. Generations have passed since anything like that has happened to churches in the Western world. Those countries that persecute Christians today seem only like scattered incidents that have little bearing on the day-to-day life of "civilized" nations. May God protect us from such attitudes.
But the One who walks among the "candlestick" churches of Revelation (His churches) saw Smyrna as rich and worthy of a crown of life. He praised this little church and encouraged them to remain "faithful unto death" (Revelation 2:10). When the King gives out His rewards from the great judgment seat, these faithful, poor, persecuted, troubled, and imprisoned souls will enter eternity with great riches and joyful liberty in the "general assembly and church of the firstborn" (Hebrews 12:23). HMM III
For more . . . .
|Re: Days of Praise - The Grace of Being Content by OLAADEGBU(m): 9:48am On Jul 10, 2012|
July 10, 2012
"And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; . . . I know your works, and where you dwell, even where Satan's seat is: and you hold fast my name, and have not denied my faith . . . But I have a few things against you" (Revelation 2:12-14).
Retaining a clear identity as a church of the Lord Jesus in an evil environment is worthy of commendation. And indeed, this body of believers at Pergamos held fast to it's Christian name--even in a city that was known (at least by God) as the place where Satan had his "seat." One of their members, Antipas, was killed for his faith. Yet the church at Pergamos remained faithful with a spiritual testimony, a small light in a sea of wickedness.
But perhaps because of the pressure surrounding them, the Lord warned them that they were allowing two destructive doctrines to flourish among them. The first was compromising with "wages of unrighteousness," exemplified by Balaam, had become entrenched among the church (2 Peter 2:15). The second was the "doctrine of the Nicolaitanes," which their sister church in Ephesus also permitted (Revelation 2:15, 6).
Balaam was a well-known prophet who willingly accepted an assignment with an enemy of God's people so that he could receive a large sum of money (Numbers 22). And, even though God would not permit Israel to be cursed, as the enemy wanted, Balaam continued to promote his "error," and Israel lapsed into grave sin (Jude 1:11).
Not much is written in Scripture about the Nicolaitanes. The word basically means "conquer the people." This early teaching developed into a strong hierarchy of church polity over the next decades, and by the end of the second century, it was well established in the major cities. Jesus taught against such leadership (Matthew 20:26-27) and clearly said that He hated it (Revelation 2:6). HMM III
For more . . . .
|Re: Days of Praise - The Grace of Being Content by OLAADEGBU(m): 12:34pm On Jul 11, 2012|
July 11, 2012
"And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; . . . I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first. Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee" (Revelation 2:18-20).
The Lord Jesus' letter to the church at Thyatira is the longest among the seven recorded in Revelation. Although they were faithful in their works to the city, had a strong charity among themselves, and were evidently growing in their reputation and perhaps even in number, the Lord Jesus used some very harsh language to rebuke their behaviour.
Whether or not the woman who held influence in the church was actually named Jezebel, she had entrenched herself as a prophetess. Her namesake in the Old Testament (1 Kings) was the wicked queen and wife of King Ahab of Israel during the days of Elijah. Her evil deeds are recorded throughout seven chapters--more than any other woman in Israel's history!
The Jezebel of Thyatira had been allowed "to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols" (Revelation 2:20). It is not clear if the Lord spoke of physical fornication among the church members, but the practice of sacrificing to idols was a serious rebellion against the second commandment and a clear violation of God's Word (Exodus 20:4-5).
Those who were committing "adultery with her" (Revelation 2:22) had entered into "the depths of Satan" (Revelation 2:24). Whether this behaviour was a physical practice or not (as was common among the pagan religions of the day), it is most certainly identified as spiritual adultery when those who name the name of Christ worship other gods (Jeremiah 3:1, 20: Hosea 9:1, etc.). May God protect us from such horrible leadership. HMM III
For more . . . .
|Re: Days of Praise - The Grace of Being Content by OLAADEGBU(m): 9:27am On Jul 12, 2012|
July 12, 2012
"And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead" (Revelation 3:1).
The church at Sardis received the saddest of the Lord's seven letters in Revelation. Sardis seemed to want to remain known as a "live" church, but the Lord saw their real testimony and reputation and concluded that they were "dead." Many such places around the world today are enshrined with stained glass, statuary, crosses, and inscriptions that have the "name" of Christianity emblazoned throughout their property, yet they are dead spiritually. Such churches might be compared to the monuments and gravestones erected in cemeteries to honour the memories of faithful men and women of past generations who were alive for a time with a solid reputation for godliness, yet whose families have drifted away from the Lord.
Yet "even in Sardis" there was a small number who had remained faithful in spite of the drift of the church itself, as there are also in families now adrift but with a Christian heritage. The advice to Sardis (and certainly to families as well) is this: "Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent" (Revelation 3:3).
The Philippian church received the same counsel: "Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you" (Philippians 4:9). The verb is "do." Heritage is wonderful, but each church--and each of us--will be held accountable for what is actually done. HMM III
For more . . . .
|Re: Days of Praise - The Grace of Being Content by OLAADEGBU(m): 9:34am On Jul 13, 2012|
July 13, 2012
"And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; . . . I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name" (Revelation 3:7-8 ).
Philadelphia and Smryna are the only churches that did not receive warnings from the Lord in the seven letters recorded in Revelation. Philadelphia had "a little strength" because they had built their church on the two foundations of the Word of God and the name of the Lord Jesus.
The foundation of Jesus Christ Himself (1 Corinthians 3:11) and the foundation of the writings of the "apostles and prophets" (Ephesians 2:20) which are inspired by God (2 Timothy 3:16) make the church "the pillar and ground of the truth" (1 Timothy 3:15). Philadelphia had faithfully held these eternal principles and were therefore given an "open door."
The Lord’s introduction to Philadelphia cites the "Key of David," suggesting a reference to the treasure house of the king (1 Kings 7:51) and to Christ’s authority as the heir to the kingdom (Isaiah 22:22). The treasure of the eternal kingdom is not physical riches, but the gold, silver, and precious stones of God ordained work for the kingdom (1 Corinthians 3:12-13).
But just as the talents and the pounds granted to the servants in the parables (Matthew 25; Luke 19), the open door is an opportunity to use the resources of the King for His benefit--not a guarantee of success. The Lord grants the resources, but the work and the use of those resources are our responsibility. We will be held accountable.
If we use those resources well, even those of the "synagogue of Satan" will "come and worship" (Revelation 3:9) and "every tongue |will| confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Philippians 2:11). HMM III
For more . . . .
|Re: Days of Praise - The Grace of Being Content by OLAADEGBU(m): 10:39am On Jul 14, 2012|
July 14, 2012
"And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; . . . I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth" (Revelation 3:14-16).
The Lord Jesus used intense language to rebuke this church, the last of the seven He had John write to in the book of Revelation. Laodicea was dangerously near the brink of being disavowed by He who is the Head of the church.
Such churches believe they "have need of nothing" (Revelation 3:17). Worldly wealth, extensive property, and popular recognition blinded these members and their leaders to their true spiritual condition. They failed to understand that, from the Lord's perspective, they are "wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and Unclad" (Revelation 3:17).
The cause of this terrible spiritual destitution is being spiritually tepid. It's like expecting a glass of cold water or a cup of hot tea but finding everything at room temperature. This church "tasted" just like the world around them. They were neither godly nor in rebellion--just "nice people" who blended in well with the community. Their spiritual reputation did not smell either like life or death (2 Corinthians 2:16).
Despite the Lord's distaste for such a condition, He loved and counseled them to "buy" from Him the gold of the kingdom's true wealth, righteous clothing that would cover their shameful exposure of worldly behaviour, and to anoint their spiritual eyes so that they could see eternal values rather than temporal things.
As the Lord graciously closed His letter, He "stands at the door" of the church, waiting for anyone to open and let Him in (Revelation 3:20). Tepid spirituality keeps the Lord outside. What a shame that such could ever be said about any church. HMM III
For more . . . .
|Re: Days of Praise - The Grace of Being Content by OLAADEGBU(m): 3:25pm On Jul 15, 2012|
Guarding the Word
July 15, 2012
"Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart" (Psalm 119:2).
In the remarkable 119th psalm, there are 176 verses (the longest chapter in the Bible) and 176 references to the written word of God. Eight different Hebrew words are used for the Scriptures, respectively translated (in the King James Version) "law," "testimonies," "precepts," "statutes," "commandments," "judgments," and two words translated "word" or "words." Furthermore, this psalm contains 28 admonitions to "keep," the Word, and these are applied to each of the above eight aspects of the Scriptures. The first is in our text where we are exhorted to keep His testimonies. Note the others also in the following examples.
"Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently," (v. 4); "O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes,"! (v. 5); "Deal bountifully with thy servant, that I may live, and keep thy word" (Hebrew dabar, v. 17).
"Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law" (v. 34); "I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments" (v. 60); "I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep thy righteous judgments" (v. 106); "Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word" (Hebrew imrah, v. 67).
This means much more than simply obeying His commands, though this is certainly included. Both words translated "keep" or "kept" in the 28 admonitions noted above, basically mean "guard" or "preserve," as in Psalm 41:2 where both words are used: "The LORD will preserve him, and keep him alive."
In these verses and many others throughout the Bible, therefore, we are commanded not merely to obey and proclaim God's Word, but also to guard, preserve, and defend it against all its many enemies. HMM
For more . . . .
|Re: Days of Praise - The Grace of Being Content by OLAADEGBU(m): 9:07am On Jul 17, 2012|
July 16, 2012
"Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak" (Colossians 4:3-4).
This was Paul's prayer request of the Colossian Christians, that God would open the door for His testimony. Paul had written earlier about "when I came to Troas to preach Christ's gospel, and a door was opened unto me of the Lord" (2 Corinthians 2:12). The purpose of an open door is thus to preach the gospel of Christ and to speak the mystery of Christ.
Furthermore, these passages indicate that such doors are opened by the Lord, not by human devices. In fact, Christ Himself is "he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth" (Revelation 3:7). Doors of testimony are opened by the Lord in answer to prayer, but He also specifies three criteria for keeping the door opened. "I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name" (Revelation 3:8 ).
These conditions mean, literally, having little strength of one's own and thus depending only on God, jealously guarding the integrity of God's Word, and upholding the name of Christ as Creator, Saviour, and coming King.
Even when the door is kept open by God, there is no assurance of ease in entering it. Paul wrote that "a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries" (1 Corinthians 16:9). This is the reason prayer is needed, relying on God, not man!
The Lord is also seeking an open door into churches that think they "have need of nothing. . . . Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him" (Revelation 3:17, 20). HMM
For more . . . .
|Re: Days of Praise - The Grace of Being Content by OLAADEGBU(m): 9:15am On Jul 17, 2012|
The Lord Our Maker
July 17, 2012
"O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker" (Psalm 95:6).
In the first chapter of Genesis we are told that God was to "make man in our image," and also that He "created man in his own image" (Genesis 1:26-27). Similarly on the seventh day, God "rested from all his work which God created and made" (Genesis 2:3).
God is, therefore, both Creator and Maker of all things, including the image of God in man. These two terms are not synonymous, though they sometimes seem to be used interchangeably. "Creation" is calling into existence entities which previously had no existence. No one except God is ever the subject of the verb "create." The work of making, on the other hand, is that of organizing created entities into complex systems.
It is interesting that God is called "Creator" five times in the Bible, whereas He is called "Maker" sixteen times. God created His image in men and women, but He also made them in that image. That is, He called into existence the spiritual component of man's nature, not shared in any degree by the animals. He also organized the basic material elements into complex human bodies, the most highly organized systems in the universe, and these were made in that image that God Himself would one day assume when He became an incarnate human being. In this way He is both Creator and Maker of His image in each person.
That image has been marred because of sin, but through the work of Christ, we have been "renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him" (Colossians 3:10), and our bodies will "be fashioned like unto his glorious body" (Philippians 3:21). Created and newly created, made and remade, let us humbly kneel before the Lord our Maker and Creator. HMM
For more . . . .
|Re: Days of Praise - The Grace of Being Content by OLAADEGBU(m): 6:16pm On Jul 18, 2012|
No Other Name
July 18, 2012
"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).
There are many famous names in the history of religious thought--names such as Mohammad, Buddha, Confucius, Joseph Smith, among a host of others. Each has a multitude of followers who pay homage to his name.
But there is only one name that saves eternally, the Lord Jesus Christ. The words of our text were spoken by the apostle Peter. In his epistle, John also stresses this fact: "He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life" (1 John 5:12). The apostle Paul wrote that all those "that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ . . . shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord" (2 Thessalonians 1:8-9).
This exclusivity necessarily results from the fact that there is only one God and Creator of all men, and that all men have rebelled against Him. God Himself has become Redeemer and Saviour, dying for the sin of the world and rising again. There can, therefore, be no other Saviour than God Himself.
The Lord Jesus repeatedly stressed this truth. "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (John 14:6). "He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God" (John 3:18 ). "If ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins" (John 8:24).
It is urgent, therefore, that anyone desiring forgiveness of sin and eternal salvation come to God through Jesus Christ. "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life: but the wrath of God abideth on him" (John 3:36). HMM
For more . . . .
|Re: Days of Praise - The Grace of Being Content by OLAADEGBU(m): 6:28pm On Jul 19, 2012|
The Word Made Flesh
July 19, 2012
"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth" (John 1:14).
This is the definitive verse on the divine incarnation, when "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself" (2 Corinthians 5:19), and the wealth of truth implied therein is beyond human comprehension. We can never understand how the infinite God could become finite man, but where the intellect fails, faith prevails.
It was the Word who "was God" and by whom "all things were made" (John 1:1, 3), yet He made His own human body, in the womb of Mary, and therein "dwelt among us" for thirty-three years. The Greek word here for "dwelt" is unusual, literally meaning "tabernacled."
How could this be? "Without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory" (1 Timothy 3:16). This is, indeed, a great mystery, "but with God all things are possible" (Matthew 19:26). God made a body for Adam; surely He could also make a perfect body in which He Himself could "tabernacle." He was made "in the likeness of sinful flesh" (Romans 8:3) and "was in all points tempted |i.e., tested| like as we are, yet without sin" (Hebrews 4:15). Since "God cannot be tempted with evil" (James 1:13), and since the Word, who was God, was merely tabernacling in the likeness of sinful flesh, this testing was to demonstrate to man (not to Himself) that He was without sin and therefore able to save sinners. Therefore, John could testify, "We beheld his glory!"
Jesus Christ is, indeed, true man--in fact, He is man as God intended man to be. Yet neither in the womb of Mary, nor on the cross, did He ever cease to be God. HMM
For more . . . .
|Re: Days of Praise - The Grace of Being Content by OLAADEGBU(m): 8:52am On Jul 20, 2012|
Together in Christ
July 20, 2012
"For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them" (Matthew 18:20).
This is a wonderful promise. Whether believers come together in church or a home Bible study or even just two together (like husband and wife) to fellowship around the name of the Lord Jesus, He is there also!
The Scriptures often speak of our togetherness with Him and therefore with one another. When we followed Him in baptism, we were "planted together in the likeness of his death" (Romans 6:5). Similarly, when He rose from the dead, God "hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved; ) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 2:5-6). One day, we are told, "if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together" (Romans 8:17).
In our Christian walk right now, we are being "fitly framed together" as a "holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit" (Ephesians 2:21-22). We ought, therefore, to be "knit together in love" (Colossians 2:2), "perfectly joined together in the same mind" (1 Corinthians 1:10), and "striving together for the faith of the gospel" (Philippians 1:27).
Then one day, when Christ returns and the dead in Christ are raised, "we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord" (1 Thessalonians 4:17).
So, when we are together with Him, through the indwelling Spirit of Christ, whether in a congregation of thousands, or just together with one or two Christian companions, we rejoice in His presence, for He is our mighty Creator, our loving Savior, our caring Comforter, our unerring Guide, and our soon-coming King. HMM
For more . . . .
|Re: Days of Praise - The Grace of Being Content by OLAADEGBU(m): 1:20pm On Jul 21, 2012|
Searching for God
July 21, 2012
"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you" (Matthew 6:33).
These are days when few people seem satisfied. Everyone seems to be searching for something--for riches, power, health, adventure, fame, peace, conquests, or escape. Shamefully, even few Christians seem to realize that the permanent fulfillment or redirection of such desires can only be found in the Lord, the One who created them and designed them to operate in a particular, satisfying way.
While it is true that in an ultimate sense "there is none that seeketh after God" (Romans 3:11) for salvation without the prompting of the Holy Spirit, the Christian (and indeed the entire human race) is enjoined again and again to seek God. Note the following passages of encouragement.
"If from thence |i.e., captivity due to disobedience| thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul" (Deuteronomy 4:29). "If thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever" (1 Chronicles 28:9). "One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple" (Psalm 27:4). "O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee" (Psalm 63:1). "I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me" (Proverbs 8:17). "And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart" (Jeremiah 29:13).
As in our text, our search should be for God and His characteristics. All of man's desires will either be fulfilled or reoriented as we find Him, and according to the several verses quoted, we will find Him if we truly seek Him. JDM
For more . . . .
|This post has been hidden|
|Re: Days of Praise - The Grace of Being Content by OLAADEGBU(m): 6:20am On Jul 23, 2012|
Praise at the Incarnation
July 22, 2012
"Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David" (Luke 1:68-69).
These words of praise, uttered by Zacharias the priest at the birth of John the Baptist, comprise one of seven great doxologies given by men and women in connection with the entrance of the Saviour into the human family. Even before this was the testimony of His mother Mary in her Magnificat: "My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour" (vv. 46-47).
But the first was uttered by Elizabeth: "Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. . . . And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord" (vv. 42, 45).
Then, when Christ was born, there were the shepherds who, after seeing Him, "returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them" (2:20). Eight days later, at His circumcision in Jerusalem, the aged prophet Simeon "blessed God, and said . . . mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel" (vv. 28, 30-32). The prophetess Anna "gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem" (v. 38).
Finally, perhaps two years later, Gentile wise men, after a long journey from the east, "fell down, and worshipped him" (Matthew 2:11). Humble Jewish shepherds and great Gentile scholars joined with priest and prophet and three godly women to praise the Lord for the gift of His Son and to worship Him. Can we do any less? HMM
For more . . . .
|Re: Days of Praise - The Grace of Being Content by OLAADEGBU(m): 6:52pm On Jul 23, 2012|
July 23, 2012
"And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together" (Romans 8:17).
One of the greatest doctrines of the Christian faith is the identification of Christ with His people in all the key events of His great work of salvation. For example, we are considered by God as dying with Him since He died for us. As Paul said, "I am crucified with Christ" (Galatians 2:20).
Furthermore, when Christ was buried, we were in effect buried also. "We are buried with him by baptism into death" (Romans 6:4). Then we are also resurrected with Christ. "Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead" (Colossians 2:12).
But that is only the beginning of our great salvation. Christ then ascended to heaven, sat down on the right hand of the Father, and we are there with Him! "God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ. . . . And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 2:4-6).
Not even is this the end, for we are joint-heirs with Christ, as our text assures us. He has been "appointed heir of all things" (Hebrews 1:2), and we share His inheritance. "It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: If we suffer, we shall also reign with him" (2 Timothy 2:11-12).
Identified with Christ in His suffering, His death, His burial, His resurrection, His ascension, and then in His eternal reign! This is our position by faith. When He returns, it will become actuality, "and so shall we ever be with the Lord" (1 Thessalonians 4:17). HMM
For more . . . .
|Re: Days of Praise - The Grace of Being Content by OLAADEGBU(m): 9:11am On Jul 24, 2012|
How to Handle a Multitude of Sins
July 24, 2012
"Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins" (Proverbs 10:12).
There is an old familiar cliché to the effect that we should "hate the sin, but love the sinner." This may sound a bit trite because of overuse, but it is nevertheless both biblical and practical. It is easy and tempting to be critical and condemnatory toward someone who has sinned (especially if the sin has affected us directly), but such an attitude seldom, if ever, produces repentance on the part of the sinner. As the above proverb reminds us, it will more likely generate an angry, defensive response and further strife.
An attitude of loving concern, on the other hand (not of condoning the sin, but of personal understanding and sincere interest in the person) will much more likely lead to a genuine change of heart and restoration. Two New Testament writers (Peter and James) cite this Old Testament text in their own advice to Christian believers. Peter says, for example, "And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins" (1 Peter 4:8 ). "Charity," of course, is the Greek agape, which is more often translated "love," even in the King James Version. The translators used "charity" here, no doubt, because "love" might be, in this context, misunderstood as Intimate love, or even brotherly love (different Greek words), whereas "charity" (as an attitude toward others) more nearly describes the agape kind of love. Note also that this "charity" is to be fervent charity.
James, like Peter, understands "all sins" in the Proverbs text to imply "a multitude of sins," and he stresses the true goal in using this kind of love in dealing with a sinner. "Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins" (James 5:20). HMM
For more . . . .
|Re: Days of Praise - The Grace of Being Content by OLAADEGBU(m): 4:50am On Jul 25, 2012|
The Serpent in the Wilderness
July 25, 2012
"And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live" (Numbers 21:8 ).
This might seem an incredible story, but it was confirmed by none other than the Lord Jesus Himself: "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life" (John 3:14-15).
A plague of poisonous snakes had infested the camp of Israel, sent as a divine judgment because of their complaints and ingratitude, and many people had died. When they confessed their sin and Moses prayed for their deliverance, God in His grace prescribed this unique remedy.
There is, of course, no naturalistic process which can heal a deadly snakebite merely by a look. Neither, of course, is there a naturalistic explanation for the salvation of a sin poisoned soul merely by looking with faith upon the crucified Son of man. Both are mighty miracles, with the first being beautifully designed by God to be a prophetic foreshadowing of the other.
The symbolism is striking. The brass serpent impaled on the pole represented the poisonous serpents slain, but it also spoke of "that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan," eventually cast forever into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:2, 10). Thus it also symbolized the judgment on sin itself and its final banishment from God's creation.
All of this, however, was only the symbol. The real deliverance required Christ to be made "sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Corinthians 5:21). The Son of man must be lifted up on the cross, and then all who see Him, and believe, receive life instead of death. HMM
For more . . . .
|Re: Days of Praise - The Grace of Being Content by OLAADEGBU(m): 8:53am On Jul 26, 2012|
Descriptive Attributes of God
July 26, 2012
"And he said, Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran" (Acts 7:2).
There are seven beautiful descriptive attributes of God mentioned in the New Testament. The first was used by Stephen, who called Him "the God of glory" as he gave his defense to the Jewish council just before he was martyred and indeed "saw the glory of God" (Acts 7:2, 55) himself as he finished his testimony.
The apostle Paul later called Him "the God of patience and consolation," while urging his fellow Christians to be "likeminded one toward another" (Romans 15:5). In the same chapter, he also called Him "the God of hope" in a benedictory prayer: "Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing" (Romans 15:13).
To the Christians at Corinth, Paul wrote about "the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation" (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). Then later he wrote: that "the God of love" would be with them (2 Corinthians 13:11).
To both the Philippians and the Thessalonians, he wrote about "the God of peace" (Philippians 4:9). "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly" (1 Thessalonians 5:23).
The seventh of these beautiful descriptions was written by the apostle Peter. "But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you" (1 Peter 5:10).
Recapitulating, in this logical Bible order, these seven beautiful attributes of God (we could almost call them "titles" of God) are as follows: He is the God of glory, the God of patience and consolation, the God of hope, the God of all comfort, the God of love, the God of peace, and the God of all grace! No wonder we can honour and adore Him! HMM
For more . . . .
|Re: Days of Praise - The Grace of Being Content by OLAADEGBU(m): 11:13am On Jul 27, 2012|
His Son's Name
July 27, 2012
"Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his Son's name, if thou canst tell" (Proverbs 30:4).
The obvious answer to these rhetorical questions must centre in God, the Creator of all things. But the fascinating revelation in this Old Testament passage is that God has a Son and that both have names.
When Moses asked God His name, "God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM . . . This is my name for ever" (Exodus 3:14-15). Later, Moses, in his song of deliverance said: "The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name" (Exodus 15:3). The name Lord (Hebrew Jehovah or Yahweh) means, essentially, "I am, the self-existent one."
As far as His Son's name is concerned, it is revealed in Scripture in many ways. In the Old Testament prophecy, "His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6). How remarkable that a "Son is given" who is also named the mighty God and everlasting Father!
In His incarnation, the angel commanded Joseph, "Thou shalt call his name JESUS" ("Jehovah saves" ), but he also said, "They shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us" (Matthew 1:21, 23).
There are many other titles by which the Son of God is identified, but perhaps the most significant are noted in connection with His final return in triumph. "His name is called The Word of God" (Revelation 19:13), identifying Him as both eternal Creator and incarnate Saviour (John 1:1-3, 14). As our eternal King, "he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS" (Revelation 19:16). HMM
For more . . . .
|Re: Days of Praise - The Grace of Being Content by OLAADEGBU(m): 4:57am On Jul 28, 2012|
Our Understanding of Creation
July 28, 2012
"Thou, even thou, art LORD alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee" (Nehemiah 9:6).
The Bible clearly states that God created the "heaven, and earth, the sea and all that in them is" (Exodus 20:11) out of nothing. "Things which are seen were not made of things which do appear" (Hebrews 11:3). The first verse of the Bible, "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth," could be paraphrased: God called into existence the space--mass--time (i.e., heavens--earth--beginning) universe. Evidently before creation, nothing now intrinsic to the universe existed at all.
While this teaching is clear, not hard to understand, it is hard to believe. Such ex nihilo (i.e., out of nothing) creation is so foreign to our experience that it can only be comprehended as God reveals it to us. We are taught that His creative work was finished at the end of the sixth day of Creation Week (Genesis 2:1-4). With the exception of certain of the miracles of Christ on Earth, such creation has not occurred since, and we have difficulty believing it could happen, so foreign is it to our experience.
Our difficulty stems primarily from the fact that we are sinful creatures; our minds are hampered by sin. "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned" (1 Corinthians 2:14).
Since the doctrine of creation is foundational to the rest of Scripture, we dare not neglect it just because it is difficult, and we dare not impose our feeble naturalistic reasonings onto the clear teaching of Genesis 1 and related passages, thereby reducing God’s power to mere human abilities. JDM
For more . . . .
|Re: Days of Praise - The Grace of Being Content by OLAADEGBU(m): 8:24am On Jul 30, 2012|
The Ministry of the Saints
July 29, 2012
"Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both their's and our's" (1 Corinthians 1:2).
This salutation to those "called saints" at Corinth (the words "to be" are not in the original) makes it clear that all who "in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord" are the saints of God. The word "saint" means "one who is sanctified" or "set apart," having been called to serve the Lord.
That service is varied, and many striking figures of speech are used in the Bible to describe it. In the first place, the saints are "witnesses unto me" (Acts 1:8 ) and, therefore, "ambassadors for Christ" (2 Corinthians 5:20). The words and deeds of believers are to serve as an actual Bible to those who may not read God's Word. "Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart" (2 Corinthians 3:3).
Christ applied the figure of candlesticks to the churches addressed in Revelation, with Himself in the midst (Revelation 1:12-13). Similarly, we are enjoined to "shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life" (Philippians 2:15-16). This light is not merely the light of a godly life, but the light of God's revealed truth, for we constitute "the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth" (1 Timothy 3:15).
In relation to Christ, we constitute "the body of Christ, and members in particular" (1 Corinthians 12:27) and have been presented "as a chaste virgin to Christ" (2 Corinthians 11:2). One day we shall reign with Him as "kings and priests unto God" (Revelation 1:6). HMM
For more . . . .
|Re: Days of Praise - The Grace of Being Content by OLAADEGBU(m): 8:43am On Jul 31, 2012|
The Word of His Grace
July 30, 2012
"And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified" (Acts 20:32).
Many beautiful descriptors are used in the New Testament to illustrate the powers of the Word of God, both spoken and written. For example, the Lord Jesus is called "the Word of life" in 1 John 1:1, and Paul, speaking of the Scriptures, reminded the Philippian Christians that they should be "holding forth the word of life" (Philippians 2:16).
Jesus called the Scriptures, which were to be spread through the world like seed sown in a field, "the word of the kingdom" (Matthew 13:19). The apostle Paul called them "the word of faith, which we preach" (Romans 10:8 ). Quoting a particular Scripture, he spoke of it as "the word of promise" (Romans 9:9).
As His witnesses and ambassadors, it is to us that He "hath committed . . . the word of reconciliation" (2 Corinthians 5:19), wherewith we are to beseech men to be reconciled to God. Paul also said that "the word of truth" was nothing less than "the gospel of your salvation" (Ephesians 1:13).
The writer of Hebrews called it "the word of exhortation" (Hebrews 13:22). In writing through John to the faithful church at Philadelphia, the Lord Jesus commended them because they had "kept the word of my patience" (Revelation 3:10).
But undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and meaningful of such metaphors of God's Word is the one found in our text (and also in Acts 14:3), that is, "the word of his grace."
There is no grander theme in the Bible than the unmerited, abundant, inexhaustible, saving grace of God in Christ, and it is fitting that God's eternal Word be known as "the word of His grace." The book, in fact, ends on this very note. "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen" (Revelation 22:21). HMM
For more . . . .
Sections: politics (1) business autos (1) jobs (1) career education (1) romance computers phones travel sports fashion health