Something to Think About

It is certainly easier to ignore or condone sin than to forgive it. Doubtless, that is why the world adopts this stance.  Those who ignore or condone sin need make no judgment about the sinner.  Those who forgive hold him guilty, rebuke him, call him to repentance, and on confession of sin, promise never to bring up the matter again.  Forgivers, in contrast to condoners, become deeply involved with the sinner – at every point of his sin.  They seek to do him good at great cost to themselves.  Forgiving is not easy; it costs.

From Forgiven to Forgiving by Jay Adams

In Tenderness He Sought Me

Great are Thy tender mercies, O Lord. Psalm 119:156

In tenderness He sought me,
Weary and sick with sin,
And on His shoulders brought me
Back to His fold again.
While angels in His presence sang
Until the courts of heaven rang.

O the love that sought me!
O the blood that bought me!
O the grace that brought me to the fold,
Wondrous grace that brought me to the fold!

He washed the bleeding sin-wounds
And poured in oil and wine;
He whispered to assure me,
“I’ve found thee, thou art Mine;”
I never heard a sweeter voice;
It made my aching heart rejoice! (Refrain)

He pointed to the nail prints,
For me His blood was shed,
A mocking crown so thorny
Was placed upon His head:
I wondered what He saw in me
To suffer such deep agony. (Refrain)

I’m sitting in His presence,
The sunshine of His face,
While with adoring wonder
His blessings I retrace:
It seems as if eternal days
Are far too short to sound His praise. (Refrain)

So while the hours are passing,
All now is perfect rest;
I’m waiting for the morning,
The brightest and the best,
When He will call us to His side,
To be with Him, His spotless bride. (Refrain)

Author: W. Spencer Walton  1894

Faith, Superstition and Understanding

In this blog a lot of emphasis is put on reading the Bible. This is emphasized because ….faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17).  Faith does not come by experience.  Experience (testings or trials) simply reveals whether or not we have faith. 

W.E. Vine defines faith as “a firm persuasion or conviction brought about by hearing.”  In order to be firmly persuaded about something, one must have understanding.  The Holy Spirit will give understanding and conviction from the Scriptures concerning man’s alienation from God, sin’s penalty, God’s mercy and His unspeakable gift of forgiveness and eternal life through His Son, Jesus Christ. 

There are different kinds of faith.  The type of faith you have depends upon what you are listening to.  Saving faith comes from the doctrine of Christ as revealed in the Scripture.  Saving faith is based upon the merit of Christ and nothing else.  I need no other argument, I need no other plea.  It is enough that Jesus died, and that He died for me.  Church tradition often gets in the way of the simple gospel message.

Superstition can be mistaken for faith.  Superstition can be biblical information without understanding.   Athletes often have Bible verses and crosses tattooed on their bodies, but the absence  of spiritual understanding is displayed by profane and immoral life styles.  Do those wearing crosses understand what took place upon the cross or are the crosses worn simply as a talisman or a lucky token to ward off defeat and misfortune?

Just reading or hearing the Bible is not enough.  There are those who spend their entire life in the Christian religion but without understanding.  A holy grail, church tradition, or some religious object somehow infused with mysterious power becomes the objective, and not the person of Christ.  The Lord Jesus challenged the Pharisees concerning this very thing saying; Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.  And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.  John 5:39-40

Do you lack understanding?

And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert.

And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet.

Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.  And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?  And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me?  And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.

The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth:  In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation?  for his life is taken from the earth.

And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this?  of himself, or of some other man?  Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.

And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest.  And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.        Acts 8:26-38 KJV

Note: True Christianity is not a religion, it is a relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ.

…….let the word of Christ dwell in you richly……

A fool has no delight in understanding, But in expressing his own heart.  Proverbs 18:2 NKJV

Retain Visual Contact

My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.  Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.  For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.  Proverbs 4:20-22

Are You Anxious For Something?

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.  Ye cannot serve God and mammon (money).

Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them.  Are ye not much better than they?

Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

And why take ye thought for raiment?  Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:

And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.  Matthew 6:24-34

Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6&7