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Form of Sound Words (2 Tim 1:13)
Saturday, December 20, 2003
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Tuesday, December 16, 2003
Now Playing: What have we been given ?
Topic: Gifts
There is no shortage of gift-giving around this time of year. Even at work, very few are left out. But for the believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, there is more to consider: (1) Salvation is "the gift of God" (Ephesians 2:8) (2) Every "good and perfect gift is from above" (James 1:17) (3) Eternal life is "the gift of God...thru Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:23) (4) the grace of God is a gift (Romans 5:15-18) (5) all believers have some gift (Romans 12:3-8) (6) all spiritual gifts have the same source (1 Corinthians 12:4-6) (7) Gifts should be used for the honor and glory of Christ (1 Peter 4:10)

In addition, we should not desire an earthly gift for ourselves (Philippians 4:17), but we are not to neglect our gift (1 Timothy 4:14-16) and we are to stir up our gift (2 Timothy 1:6). As we know how to "give good gifts to our children" (Matthew 7:11a), our heavenly Father knoweth what things we have need of (Matthew 6:32). He has "led captivity captive", and given gifts unto men (Ephesians 4:8).

We are to offer our gifts "of all the best thereof" (Numbers 18:29). We know in natural things, "every man is a friend to him that giveth gifts" (Proverbs 19:6). How much better to enjoy the gifts given from "your Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 7:11b) "Though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge, and though I have all faith...I am nothing" There was no greater gift than that "God so loved...that He gave...that we might have everlasting life" (John 3:16) What a gift we can enjoy!

Posted by dondegr8 at 6:18 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, December 24, 2003 6:33 PM EST
Fully Equipped
Now Playing: Ready with an answer ?
Topic: Gifts
The Apostle Peter reminds us to "be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you..."(1 Peter 3:15) At the same time the Apostle Paul urged the Corinthians, "I fear, lest by any means...your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity which is in Christ". (2 Corinthians 11:3) He also wrote to the Ephesians, "That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things which is the Head, even Christ (Ephesians 4:15,16) Our desire should be to "have heard Him, and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus". (Ephesians 4:21)

When Peter and John spoke, "they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus" (Acts 4:13) When Saul offered David his armor, David replied (after trying them on) "I cannot go with these for I have not proved them". (1 Samuel 17:39) But faced with a fierce enemy he could say "I come to thee in the Name of the LORD of Hosts." (verse 45) He recognized the difficulty, set aside his earthly resource, but acknowledged the divine source of his strength. May it be so with us each day!

Posted by dondegr8 at 11:32 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, December 24, 2003 6:33 PM EST
Confession and Prayer
Now Playing: Does God hear from us ?
Topic: Meditations
How do we react when things are broken or taken away ? When we faint or are sick ? How about when we weep and mourn ? Nehemiah and Daniel faced these calamities (Nehemiah 1:3, Daniel 8:27). How did they react? What marvelous prayers we now have recorded in God's Word (Nehemiah 1:4-11, Daniel 9:3-19) because of their earnest reactions to the trials they faced.

James says "count it all joy...when ye fall into diverse temptations (trials)" (James 1:2) Peter wrote "the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire" (1 Peter 1:7) Paul could write "we are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; always bearing about in our body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body". (2 Cor. 4:8-10). He also wrote "sorrowful, yet always rejoicing" (2 Cor. 6:10) May our difficulties only lead us to repentance, humility, and closeness to our Saviour!

Posted by dondegr8 at 8:44 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, December 24, 2003 6:15 PM EST
Monday, December 15, 2003
Finishing the Task
Now Playing: How are we building ?
Topic: Laboring
Whether a craftsman, a farmer, or someone in an office, there is a strong urge to reach the completion of a task. The personal satisfaction is keen, and the external payback is usually good. In spiritual matters, we have some clear instruction. The Lord Jesus said to the multitudes, "Which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?" (Luke 14:28) When the leaders sought to kill Jesus (John 6:18), He said to them (vv. 19-47) "the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me..." (v.36). The Apostle Paul could say forcefully to those at Ephesus, "But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy..." (Acts 20:24) When he wrote his final epistle to Timothy he said "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith." (2 Timothy 4:7)

But what good is finishing what we are working on, if we are not creating something with eternal value? There is a world of difference between "finishing with joy" and "being finished", as a well-known figure encountered this past weekend in Iraq. The Apostle Paul said to the Christians at Corinth, "Let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 3:11). The World Trade Center was tested and built to withstand the impact of a small airplane, but it still wasn't strong enough.

The Lord Jesus could say to Peter, "upon this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it". (Matthew 16:18) When the apostle Peter wrote his first letter (some 30+ years later) to the strangers scattered abroad, he conveyed the truth which had been given to him. We, as believers in Christ, are "living stones" used to build a "spiritual house". A building is only as good as the foundation and its material. We know the foundation is Christ (1 Corinthians 3), and we are "His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them". (Ephesians 2:10)

So we are promised "Behold I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious; and he that believeth on Him shall not be confounded." (1 Peter 2:6) Are we building on marshland or bedrock, and is our material "wood, hay, and stubble" or "gold, silver, and precious stones" (1 Corinthians 3:12) Paul reminds the Ephesian believers "Ye are...of the household of God, and are being built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone, in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto a holy temple in the Lord". (Ephesians 2:19-21)

Shortly after the time of Noah, the "whole earth was of one language...and they said, go to, let us make us a city, and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name..." (Genesis 11:1-5) But Solomon, the wisest man that ever lived, could say "the Name of the LORD is a strong tower, the righteous runneth into it and is safe".(Proverbs 18:10) The man after God's own heart, the psalmist David could say, "The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; the God of my rock, in Him will I trust; He is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my Saviour...I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised". (2 Samuel 22:2-4).

Read all of the chapter, it is so breathtakingly beautiful, what a resource we have in seeking to build our lives in a world of shifting sands and useless investments. "If a man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward." (1 Corinthians 3:14) After we "finish", there is something which the Lord "shall give" to "all them also that love His appearing". (2 Timothy 4:7,8) May we be found among them!

Posted by dondegr8 at 7:33 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, December 23, 2003 9:19 PM EST

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