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Form of Sound Words (2 Tim 1:13)
Monday, December 29, 2003
Thanksgiving
Now Playing: What are we grateful for ?
Topic: Thanks
During the holidays, when we see our relatives and receive gifts, we have to consider what we appreciate and what draws out a response of thanksgiving. There may be a Canadian holiday in October and an American holiday in November, but thanksgiving should form a natural part of every day of our lives. Paul could write to the Ephesian believers, "Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ." (Ephesians 5:19-20)

Thanksgiving should form a natural part of all our everyday activities. "Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving" (Colossians 4:2). "Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory" (1 Corinthians 15:57). "For now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord. For what thanks can we render to God again for you, for all the joy wherewith we joy for your sakes before our God" (1 Thessalonians 3:9-10). "Be careful (anxious) for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God" (Philippians 4:6).

Nehemiah made some of his choices based upon some good criteria, "Then I brought up the princes of Judah, upon the wall, and appointed two great companies of them that gave thanks..." (Nehemiah 12:31). When the apostle Paul met his brethren, "he thanked God, and took courage." (Acts 28:15) King David appointed the Levites, "to stand every morning to thank and praise the LORD, and likewise at evening..." (1 Chronicles 23:30). Paul wrote to Timothy that "meats [food], which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth" (1 Timothy 4:3).

Daniel could say, "Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever; for wisdom and might are His; and He changeth the times and the seasons: He removeth kings, and setteth up kings; he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding; He revealeth the deep and secret things; He knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with Him. I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, Who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired of thee; for thou hast now made known unto us..." (Daniel 2:20-23) May we be as thankful to God for the rich blessings, both natural and spiritual, which He has given to us!

Posted by dondegr8 at 5:05 PM EST
Wednesday, December 24, 2003
Compassion
Now Playing: What moves our emotions ?
Topic: Compassion
Some of us can be a bit hard-hearted at times. Walking thru a downtown and seeing the homeless, and less fortunate may make me feel, "they deserve it". So how are we to respond to those in need? "Whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?" (1 John 3:17) To other believers, the apostle Peter wrote "be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren..." (1 Peter 3:8) Jude wrote "...of some have compassion, making a difference" (Jude 22).

In the gospels, the good Samaritan, "came where he was; and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, and went to him, and bound up his wounds...and took care of him" (Luke 10:33,34) The father of the Prodigal Son, "when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him." (Luke 15:20) The Lord graciously chose those of us who are believers, "I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion" (Romans 9:15).

When He was here, the Lord Jesus "saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd." (Matthew 9:36) Also, "Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick" (Matthew 14:14). "So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes; and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed Him" (Matthew 20:34) "Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, 'I will; be thou clean'" (Mark 1:41)

When know of our Lord that "His compassions fail not, they are new every morning" (Lamentations 3:22-23) Also, the prophet Micah could write, "Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity?...he retaineth not His anger for ever, because He delighteth in mercy. He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea." (Micah 7:18-19) May we likewise be compassionate to those who transgress, desiring their repentance and blessing!


Posted by dondegr8 at 3:12 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, December 24, 2003 6:12 PM EST
Tuesday, December 23, 2003
Resisting
Now Playing: What do we oppose ?
Topic: Resist
In our Christian lives, we are sometimes known as much for what we oppose as for what we support. God has "enemies" whom He opposes: "Wherefore he saith, 'God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble'. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you". (James 4:6-8) In the end of the apostle Peter's 1st letter, he writes, "ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility; for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble" (1 Peter 5:5), and "be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour; whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world" (vv. 8-9).

However, there will always be those of whom Stephen could say, "Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost; as your fathers did, so do ye" (Acts 7:51) There are the wicked who, "so do these also resist the truth; men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith" (2 Timothy 3:8) The apostle Paul could write, "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God; the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God..." (Romans 13:1-2)

We should not resist the truth, but we certainly are to resist sin. "For consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin" (Hebrews 12:3-4) There are consequences to those who resist God and not sin. "Therefore He will have mercy on whom He will have mercy, and whom He will He hardeneth. Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted His will? Nay, but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing that formed say to Him that formed it, 'Why hast thou made me thus?' " (Romans 9:18-20)

In the book of the prophet Zechariah, "he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. And the Lord said unto Satan, 'The Lord rebuke Thee, O Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee; is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?' " (Zechariah 3:1-2) What was the conclusion? "The angel of the Lord protested unto Joshua, saying, 'Thus saith the Lord of hosts; If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then ... I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by' " (vv.6-7). There is a "real enemy" who will oppose the believer, and we are to "earnestly contend for the faith" (Jude 3), "unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless..." (Jude 24).

The Lord promised His followers, "For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist." (Luke 21:15) Of Stephen it was said, "They were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake." (Acts 6:10) May the Lord help us to resist sin, but submit ourselves to Him and His Word! (James 4:6-10)

Posted by dondegr8 at 11:13 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, December 24, 2003 5:59 PM EST
Monday, December 22, 2003
Labor
Now Playing: On what are we spending our energy ?
Topic: Laboring
One of the aspects of the holidays we look forward to is more time with friends and family and less time at work, laboring for our employer. Solomon could say "in all labour there is profit" (Proverbs 14:23), but also lamented, "for what hath man of all his labour, and of the vexation of his heart, wherein he hath laboured under the sun?" (Lamentations 2:22). The warning is given, "Labour not to be rich; cease from thine own wisdom" (Proverbs 23:4).

Paul could write "Let him that stole steal no more; but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth" (Ephesians 4:28). Likewise, the Lord Jesus warned the people at Capernaum, "Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of Man shall give unto you..." (John 6:27) Jesus had said, "Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest". (Matthew 11:28)

As believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, we are urged, "My beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord". (1 Corinthians 15:58) "For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have showed toward His Name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister" (Hebrews 6:10) Paul said to the believers in Thessalonica, "Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ..." (1 Thes. 1:3)

In seeking to work for the Lord, there will be opposition, as Nehemiah found. "And I said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, 'the work is great and large, and we are separated upon the wall, one far from another. In what place therefore ye hear the sound of the trumpet, resort ye ... unto us; our God shall fight for us'. So we laboured in the work; and half of them held the spears from the rising of the morning till the stars appeared." (Nehemiah 4:19-21) We have an enemy who will oppose God's work. But we are encouraged, "Now he that planteth, and he that watereth are one; and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. For we are laborers together with God..." (1 Cor. 3:8-9)

Of the martyrs it could be said, "Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord...that they may have rest from their labours, and their works do follow them" (Revelation 14:13) For those who seek to be true to Him, it was recorded, "I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience..." (Revelation 2:2) May we use our energy and resources to labor for Him! "The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He would send forth labourers into His harvest." (Luke 10:2)

Posted by dondegr8 at 1:56 PM EST
Saturday, December 20, 2003
Holidays
Now Playing: Time with our family
Topic: Administrative
My postings will be less frequent during the next few weeks due to the holidays. We can be thankful for our earthly family and for the position of the believer to be "sons (children) of God" (John 1:12, Ephesians 1:5, 2:19, 1 John 3:1-2, 1 John 5:1). He has gone to prepare us a home that we might be "with Him"! (John 14:2-4)

Posted by dondegr8 at 8:06 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, December 24, 2003 6:19 PM EST
The Child
Now Playing: Has He affected you ?
Topic: Meditations
Over two thousand years ago, the "fullness of time" (Galations 4:4) was come. Our Divine Creator allowed that, "the days were accomplished" (Luke 2:6). Matthew records, "thou shalt call His Name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21).

What were the responses? For the shepherds, the "angel of the Lord came upon them, and...said, 'Fear not, for I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people'". (vv. 9-10). "And when they had seen it, they made known abroad..." (v. 17) "And all they that heard it wondered at those things..." (v.18). The mother Mary, "kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart" (v.19). Then the "shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things which they had heard and seen" (v.20). What are we doing with the glorious news of our wonderful Saviour ? Like Simeon (vv. 25-32), may our praise flow to Him!



Posted by dondegr8 at 10:24 AM EST
Friday, December 19, 2003
Openings
Now Playing: Are we open to Him in our lives ?
Topic: Openings
When the apostle John is directed to write to the believers in Philadelphia, he says to them, "He that is holy, He that is true, He that hath the key of David, He that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth" (Revelation 3:7) There were two blind men who pleaded with the Saviour, "Lord, that our eyes may be opened" (Matthew 20:33). To us it is promised, "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you" (Luke 11:9, also Matthew 7:7-8).

Paul desired that, "we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord" (2 Corinthians 3:18). For those who were faithful, the Spirit had the apostle John record "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 3:8).

The two on the road to Emmaus met the Lord, and when they had broken bread (v30), "their eyes were opened, and they knew Him; and He vanished out of their sight" (Luke 24:31), "Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures" (v 45). May we be as the wise men, who "fell down, and worshipped Him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto Him gifts" (Matthew 2:11), and as David, who could say "Open Thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy law" (Psalm 119:8).





Posted by dondegr8 at 7:19 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, December 24, 2003 6:21 PM EST
Strong
Now Playing: What gives us strength ?
Topic: Strong
We all desire to have strength, both natural and spiritual. But how can we find it? The apostle Paul admonished Christian believers "Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong" (1 Corinthians 16:13). But spiritual strength is not found in the most obvious place. Paul also wrote "Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong". (2 Cor. 12:10) Similarly, "For we are glad, when we are weak, and ye are strong: and this also we wish, even your perfection." (2 Cor. 13:9). How could he say this ? "Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men" (1 Cor. 1:25) We know we were not born with this capability, because we know that, "when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly" (Romans 5:6).

The divine source of our strength we find in Paul's desire for the Ephesians that the Lord, "would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man". (Ephesians 3:16) Paul proclaim, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me". (Philippians 4:13) He also wrote to the Colossians, earnestly desiring that they would be "strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness" (Colossians 1:11) The Ephesian believers were urged, "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might" (Ephesians 6:10). But the believers at Sardis had to be warned, "Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God". (Revelation 3:2)

But the apostle John commended some, "I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one" (1 John 2:14). Timothy was encouraged, "Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus" (2 Timothy 2:1) The Roman Christians were told, "We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves". (Romans 15:1) Peter could say of the lame man who had been healed, "his name through faith in His name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by Him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all" (Acts 3:16)

What are we to do when we have this strength? "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself" (Luke 10:27) The Lord Jesus could say to Peter, "I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren" (Luke 22:32) The apostle Paul could write to Timothy, "Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion". (2 Timothy 4:17)

The Lord Jesus Himself, "grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him". (Luke 2:40) As we grow in the faith, there is maturity, "strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil". (Hebrews 5:14)

We have many good examples: Abraham "staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God". (Romans 4:20) Of Joseph it was said, "his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob" (Genesis 49:24).

After the Israelites had crossed the Red Sea, and see the Lord's protection, they could sing "The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father's God, and I will exalt him" (Exodus 15:2) Moses reminded the children of Israel of the Lord's provision, "as thy days, so shall thy strength be" (Deuteronomy 33:25), and "Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee". (Deuteronomy 31:6)

Faithful Caleb could say, "yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in" (Joshua 14:11) When he was younger Joshua said, "Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest." (Joshua 1:9) Some years later, he also said, "Fear not, nor be dismayed, be strong and of good courage: for thus shall the LORD do to all your enemies against whom ye fight" (Joshua 10:25) And even at the close of his life Joshua could say, "For the LORD hath driven out from before you great nations and strong: but as for you, no man hath been able to stand before you unto this day". (Joshua 23:9)

King David could say, "God is my strength and power: and he maketh my way perfect" (2 Samuel 22:33), and "Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually" (1 Chronicles 16:11)and, "riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all" (1 Chron. 29:12)
David also encourage his son, "David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the LORD God, even my God, will be with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD" (1 Chron. 28:20) King Solomon also sought the Lord, "Solomon the son of David was strengthened in his kingdom, and the LORD his God was with him, and magnified him exceedingly". (2 Chron. 1:1)

A man of God warned King Amaziah, "if thou wilt go, do it, be strong for the battle: God shall make thee fall before the enemy: for God hath power to help, and to cast down" (2 Chron. 25:8) The prophet Hanani said to King Asa "For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him". (2 Chron. 16:9)
Faithful King Hezekiah kept himself busy when, "he strengthened himself, and built up all the wall that was broken, and raised it up to the towers, and another wall without, and repaired Millo in the city of David, and made darts and shields in abundance". (2 Chron. 32:5)

Ezra could write, "I was strengthened as the hand of the LORD my God was upon me, and I gathered together out of Israel chief men to go up with me". (Ezra 7:28) Nehemiah likewise expressed, "I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the king's words that he had spoken unto me. And they said, 'Let us rise up and build'. So they strengthened their hands for this good work" (Nehemiah 2:18), and when he was discouraged Nehemiah said "they all made us afraid, saying, 'Their hands shall be weakened from the work, that it be not done.' Now therefore, O God, strengthen my hands". (Nehemiah 6:9)

Job could say of the Lord, "With him is wisdom and strength, He hath counsel and understanding" (Job 12:13). May we be as the believers in Philadelphia, "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 3:8) His strength is enough for us today!

Posted by dondegr8 at 4:17 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, December 24, 2003 6:14 PM EST
Outage
Now Playing: Web site unavailable
Topic: Administrative
On occasion, as today, this web site may not be available. The web site host, Tripod, may have outages on its main computers in Massachusetts. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Posted by dondegr8 at 2:11 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, December 24, 2003 6:21 PM EST
Thursday, December 18, 2003
Follow
Now Playing: Who are we following ?
Topic: Follow
There are many well-known personalities who are imitated, often by the young in our modern culture. But what pattern should we be following? When the Lord Jesus called His disciples,He said, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him". (Matthew 4:19-20) The Saviour made some forceful statements when He was here on earth, "Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead" (Matthew 8:22), "He that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me" Matthew 10:38), "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me" (Matthew 16:24), "If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me". (Matthew 19:21), "As He (Jesus) passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the receipt of custom, and said unto him, Follow me. And he arose and followed Him" (Mark 2:14), "When He had called the people unto Him with His disciples also, He said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me" (Mark 8:34).

He also said in Luke's gospel, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me" (Luke 9:23). "When Jesus heard these things, He said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me" (Luke 18:22). "Behold, when ye are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house where he entereth in" (Luke 22:10).

Likewise in John's gospel, "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life" (John 8:12). "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow Me" (John 10:27). "If any man serve Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there shall also My servant be: if any man serve Me, him will my Father honour" (John 12:26). "Simon Peter said unto Him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow Me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards" (John 13:36). "Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou Me" (John 21:22).

We are also given instruction in the epistles of Paul, "Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another" (Romans 14:19), and "Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord" (Hebrews 12:14), and "See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men" (1 Thessalonians 5:15), and "Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God" (3 John 11), and "Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart" (2 Timothy 2:22), and "Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children". (Ephesians 5:1)

Paul could also say, as led of the Spirit, "Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ" (1 Corinthians 11:1), and "Ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost" (1 Thessalonians 1:6), and "Ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen" (1 Thessalonians 2:14)

Likewise Paul said, "But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness" (1 Timothy 6:11), and "That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises" (Hebrews 6:12), and "Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:12), and "Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation" (Hebrews 13:7)

Peter remember the One who had called him to follow the Saviour, "For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty" (2 Peter 1:16), and "For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps" (1 Peter 2:21).

We can close with a promise, "And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?" (1 Peter 3:13). We may suffer for Christ down here, but if we follow Him, no one can take away from us anything of eternal value!

Posted by dondegr8 at 7:38 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, December 23, 2003 9:15 PM EST
Cares
Now Playing: How do we handle cares in our life ?
Topic: Weary
The end of the year is as good a time as any to assess the cares and concerns in our lives. Paul could say regarding single and married people, "But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife". (1 Corinthians 7:32-33) Among Christians we are to care for others, "That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another" (1 Corinthians 12:25) In our spiritual walk, the apostle Paul wrote to Philippi "Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God". (Philippians 4:6) To our fellow Christians we are admonished, "This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men" (Titus 3:8)

We fail in this. The apostle Paul also wrote "For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state". (Philippians 2:20) Jesus spoke of those we find who, "that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection". (Luke 8:14) Likewise, "And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful" (Mark 4:19) The Lord Jesus warned of the end times, "And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares". (Luke 21:34). God does judge when His people sin, "For the inhabitant of Maroth waited carefully for good: but evil came down from the LORD unto the gate of Jerusalem" (Micah 1:12) The Lord Jesus warned of those who would harm His people, "The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep". (John 10:13) The Psalmist, King David, could lament, "I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul. (Psalm 142:4) The disciples even accused the Lord, "And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master,carest thou not that we perish?" (Mark 4:38)

May we be like the good Samaritan, who "went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee." (Luke 10:34-35) When we have sinned, there is a solution when we repent, "behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter" (2 Corinthians 7:11) We have a biblical pattern, "For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit". (Jeremiah 17:8)

May our spiritual desires to please the Lord grow, "But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity" (Philippians 4:10) Moses recorded, "The Lord shall greatly bless thee...only if thou carefully hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all these commandments which I command thee this day". (Deuteronomy 15:4,5)

We have a resource, "the LORD thy God careth... the eyes of the LORD thy God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year". (Deuteronomy 11:12) There is one to Whom we can always turn for help "Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you". (1 Peter 5:7) May we take ALL of our cares to the One who can help us to carefully walk with Him!



Posted by dondegr8 at 1:14 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, December 23, 2003 9:00 PM EST
Weary
Now Playing: Do we need something to lift us up?
Topic: Weary
At some time or another, we all become weary, tired, or need physical or emotional refreshment. But as believers, we have One Who can help. "Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? There is no searching of His understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might He increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint". (Isaiah 40:28-31)

The prophet Isaiah also declared that the Lord is a "hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land". (Isaiah 32:2). Jeremiah also said of the LORD, "I have satiated the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul" (Jeremiah 31:25)

When chased by Saul, David could say "I am weary with my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears." (Psalm 6:6) When he was in his troubles, having lost everything, Job could say, "My soul is weary of my life; I will leave my complaint upon myself; I will speak in the bitterness of my soul." (Job 10:1) The enemy would seek to seize on our weakness, "How he met thee by the way, and smote the hindmost of thee, even all that were feeble behind thee, when thou wast faint and weary". (Deuteronomy 25:18)

As believers, we can be a help to one another "The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary" (Isaiah 50:4) Paul could write to the Galations "let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not" (Galations 6:9), and to those at Thessalonica "But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing" (2 Thessalonians 3:13). Jeremiah could say of the LORD, "I have satiated the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul" (Jeremiah 31:25), "Upon this I awaked and beheld, and my sleep was sweet to me" (v.26) May the Lord give us each rest and refreshment help us to continue in faithfulness to Him!

Posted by dondegr8 at 8:57 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, December 23, 2003 9:15 PM EST
Wednesday, December 17, 2003
Gathering
Now Playing: Are we there ?
Topic: Meditations
The disciples were afraid, they didn't understand everything, but they were THERE where HE was (Luke 24:36-45). Because they were there, "He opened their understanding" (v.45) Are we there where the Scriptures are taught and Christ is enjoyed ?

Posted by dondegr8 at 5:13 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, December 24, 2003 6:12 PM EST
Changes
Now Playing: What changes should we desire ?
Topic: Change
Some of us don't like change. We are comfortable with the familiar and the habits of years. We can all be thankful that we have a Saviour of whom Malachi could write "I am the Lord, I change not".(Malachi 3:6) In the letter to the Hebrews it is said "they shall be changed, but Thou art the same, and Thy years shall not fail". (Hebrews 1:12)

The apostle Paul said that there are those who "changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man" and who "change the truth of God into a lie". (Romans 1:23,25) Solomon warned "My son, fear thou the LORD and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change".(Proverbs 24:21) Jeremiah warned "I will yet plead with you, saith the Lord and with your children's children...Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? but my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit." (Jeremiah 2:9,11)

We are to "hold fast that which thou hast" (Revelation 3:11), and as Job, to be patient "all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come" (Job 14:14). In our spiritual lives may it not be said of us "How is the gold become dim! how is the most fine gold changed!" (Lamentations 4:1)

But there will soon come a day for the believer when "we shall be changed" (1 Corinthians 15:51), "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump" (v.52) We look for "the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body" (Philippians 3:20b-21) Even here and now as believers, "we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the LORD, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord" (2 Corinthians 3:18). May we see these changes produced by the Spirit in our lives constantly! "God...hath shined in our hearts...that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us...that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh" (2 Cor. 4:6-7,11)


Posted by dondegr8 at 1:37 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, December 23, 2003 9:17 PM EST
Found
Now Playing: What do we need to find?
Topic: Follow
How many times we lose (and wish to find) something of value: keys, wallet, watch, jacket, and more. Some things are more valuable to find, however. "Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near". (Isaiah 55:6) Andrew found Someone of value and brought his brother (Simon Peter) to Him. "We have found the Messiah...the Christ. And he brought him to Jesus." (John 1:41,42) When the centurion of Capernaum came to Jesus boldly, Jesus said, "Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel" (Matthew 8:10) The Lord Jesus loved us so much that "When He had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that He had, and bought it". (Matthew 13:46) The father in the story of the Prodigal Son said "this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost and is found. And they began to be merry". (Luke 15:24) The Shepherd had "found his sheep" v.6, and the woman had "found the piece (coin) which (she) had lost" v.9 The Lord Jesus has sought us in the same way to draw us to Himself.

May we seek to be as those of the tribe of Levi, "the law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips; he walked with me in peace and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity" (Malachi 2:6) The Word of the LORD came to the prophet Ezekiel, saying "I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found none". (Ezekiel 22:30) The apostle Paul could write to the believers at Philippi, "What things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord; for whom I have suffered the loss of all things...that I may win Christ, and be found in Him...that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death". (Philippians 3:8-10)

Pilate could say of the Lord Jesus "I, having examined Him before you, have found no fault in this man..." The apostle Peter could say "Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps, Who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth...Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness; by whose stripes we are healed". (1 Peter 2:21,22,24) The Lord was "found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross". (Philippians 2:8) As sinners we may be "weighed in the balances and found wanting", (Daniel 5:27) but we should desire that the trials in our lives "might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 1:7) Peter also desired that we "be diligent that ye may be found of Him, in peace, without spot, and blameless" (2 Peter 3:7) "But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever. Amen" (v.18) How much we have to find in the One who alone was "found worthy"! (Revelation 5:4)

Posted by dondegr8 at 9:29 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, December 24, 2003 6:06 PM EST

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