November 25, 2015
Rev. 21:5 ¶ Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”
One of the most obvious changes in my life at my conversion was the music I listened to. I have always loved my music. Thankfully, I relocated to California at the time of my conversion and found myself in the middle of the Jesus movement. There was a whole culture being birthed and music was a huge part of it. I traded in the Beatles, Allman Brothers, and Dylan for Phil Keaggy, Keith Green, and the Second Chapter of Acts. I had entered into a new life and my life was filled with this new song. Jesus was making all things new. It wasn’t like there was a rule not to listen to secular music it was just that there was an emptiness in all of those secular songs that no longer had a part in my life. Jonathan Edwards was all about singing, this new song was a major part of his church.
“By this work of God in renewing the heart, the man that is the subject of it becomes a new creature or is a new man, as it is often said in Scripture. And therefore no wonder that his song is new: for we are told that “old things are passed away” and “all things become new with him”. The hearts of the redeemed are new. He has a new spirit put within him. Their natures are new. In some sense their bodies are new. They have new eyes. They are renewed in the whole man. They are said to be “a new lump,” having put away “the old leaven”. They are newborn babes. They have new garments, for their filthy garments are taken away and they are clothed with change of raiment. And they have a new name. “He that overcomesI will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knows saving he that receives it.” And “I will write upon him my new name.”
How do you learn this new song? You learn it from hearing the melody of heaven in the voice of Jesus Christ. His voice is sweet and His words are food for our souls. His words enter our hearts and actually become a song in our bellies. This song feeds us, sustains us, satisfies, and empowers us. We don’t just sing different kinds of songs, we become this song. Christ is the songwriter, musician, and singer and He lives inside of us.
November 24, 2015
Psa. 96:2,3 Sing to the LORD, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!
What exactly is the glory of the Lord? It seems that the whole purpose of the creation was to display His glory. If creation displays His glory, then we are the very work of His hands. Even in our fallen state, humanity pictures the glory of the Lord. When the Son of God became a man, we see the very radiance of the Glory of the Father on display. We see the glory in His life, His ministry, His death, His resurrection, and we see the glory shining out from Him as He rules all things by the word of His power from His place at the right hand of the Father. The greatest display of God’s glory is actually seen in the results of His work at the cross. He has redeemed fallen man from the pit of despair. He has raised us up with Him and caused us to be seated with Him in heavenly places. The beauty of the sons and daughters of God is the greatest display of God’s glory. Here are some thoughts from John Gill on showing forth the glory of the Lord.
“Declare his glory—what a glorious person the Messiah is; the brightness of his Father’s glory; having all the perfections of Deity in him; how the glory of God appears in him, and in all that he has done; and especially in the work of redemption, in which the glory of divine wisdom, power, justice, truth, and faithfulness, love, grace, and mercy, is richly displayed; say what glory he is advanced unto, having done his work, being highly exalted, set at the right hand of God, and crowned with glory and honor, and what a fulness of grace there is in him, for the supply of his people; and what a glory is on him, which they shall behold to all eternity.”
So what is our work here on earth? We are to show forth the glory of the Lord in all the earth. How can we do that? We are to tell of His testimony in us. Like the Apostle Paul who told his story of the chief of sinners and the change he experienced on the road to Damascus; we are to tell our story of redemption. We were sinners, miserable creatures, until Christ saved us and began to show His glory in our lives.
November 23, 2015
MERRY MONDAY BY PARRIS-
“O that I knew where i might find him!”
Job’s desire to find God happened when everything else was taken from him. Sometimes God has a way of getting our attention. Well, my friend He is not hard to find. Jesus said he stands at the door and knocks waiting for us just to open. Even when are walking with Him on a daily basis, Jesus comes and creates in us a new hunger in our lives for more. Staying stirred up and letting yourself be yielded to the Holy Ghost is our quest.
“What I/we need is a good Holy Ghost revival. What does “Revival” mean? Some say it is simply recalling something from obscurity- finding some hidden treasure and bringing it back to the light.Yesterday, Frank and I were doing business with a woman that keep referring to herself as an “old time pentecostal”. But presently you could see that whatever touched her was indeed long, long ago. I wonder how many of us can recite stories of how God touched us way back when and yet presently we are so very far removed from the very thing that changed our lives. I think every one of us must acknowledge that we are living in a time of need. I doubt if there is a family in the world that has not some relative whom they would like to see brought into the fold of God, and who needs salvation. In Song of Solomon 3:1 it says, “By night I sought him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, but I found him not.” Some say, she had a dream that He had departed. So she got up to find Him. The word sought, means to have perseverance and determination to find that treasure. Job found Him in the midst of his storm. He comes to us walking on the water and bids us to walk out and join Him. He will calm the seas of your inward battles and the battles without and all around us. He is a friend that sticks closer than a brother. He is the shepherd of our souls. Sometimes we have to make a conscious choice if we will seek Him and let him carry our burdens. I pray your pentecostal experience isn’t buried along with all of your golden memories of yesterday. Stir again that precious gift within and let the fire fall.
November 22, 2015
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel
after those days, declares the Lord:
I will put my laws into their minds,
and write them on their hearts,
and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people. Heb.8:10
In His humanity, Jesus said He could do nothing without the Father. He said the same thing about us in His parable about the vineyard. If that is true, why do we still keep trying so hard to take matters into our own hands? If it’s true that I can do nothing without out Him that actually produces great freedom. I know He is all powerful (He can do anything), all knowing (He knows everything), and He is filled with lovingkindness. If I can just focus on those simple truths and then rest, life is actually a piece of cake. My job becomes yielding, not doing. That takes the pressure off of me and places the glory on Him. He has plenty in store for my hands to perform, I need His guidance and favor too be fruitful. Here are some thoughts from Spurgeon on this precious truth.
“All that the believer has must come from Christ, but it comes solely through the channel of the Spirit of grace. Moreover, as all blessings thus flow to you through the Holy Spirit, so also no good thing can come out of you in holy thought, devout worship, or gracious act, apart from the sanctifying operation of the same Spirit. Even if the good seed be sown in you, yet it lies dormant except he works in you to will and to do of his own good pleasure. Do you desire to speak for Jesus-how can you unless the Holy Ghost touch your tongue? Do you desire to pray? Alas! what dull work it is unless the Spirit makes intercession for you! Do you desire to subdue sin? Would you be holy? Would you imitate your Master? Do you desire to rise to superlative heights of spirituality? Are you wanting to be made like the angels of God, full of zeal and ardor for the Master’s cause? You cannot without the Spirit-Without me ye can do nothing.”
Our battle is the yielding part. It takes trust and humility to yield. You must believe that God is leading you and His hand is on you in order to yield. Now here is the difficult part. We have to be willing to take no credit for how He uses us. That is way easier said than done. Trust in the Lord and humble yourself under His mighty hand; all things really are possible from this perspective.
November 21, 2015
Psa. 85:13 Righteousness will go before Him,
And shall make His footsteps our pathway.
Righteousness can be a tricky business. Our minds naturally go to a certain creed or code to live by. The Bible clearly teaches that only one human ever lived a righteous life. All of us fall miserably short. The best among us are clothed in the filthy garments of human righteousness. That’s where the real problems begin, nothing unclean can have fellowship with the Holy God. It is unthinkable for any sin to approach His presence. Actually, all of those sins require judgement. God is just and no sin can be overlooked. That’s where that one righteous man comes in. Th righteous one is Jesus Christ. He came to satisfy the justice of God against our sins. That’s why He came; that’s why He died. The good news is that whoever believes in His sacrificial death for their sins is declared righteous; this is the righteousness of faith. Here is how Adam Clarke, the great Methodist theologian, sees it.
“Perhaps this verse may receive its best solution from Rom. iii. 25: “Whom God hath set for a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his RIGHTEOUSNESS for the remission of sins that are past.” This term the apostle uses to point out God’s method of justifying or saving mankind. And this, in the preaching of the pure Gospel, is ever going before to point out the Lord Jesus, and the redemption that is in his blood. And thus going before him, the sinner, who feels his need of salvation, is Set-in the way of his steps; as Bartimeus sat by the way-side begging, by which way Jesus walked; and when he came where he was, heard his prayer, and restored him his sight. Or, righteousness-the pure and holy law of God, must be proclaimed as broken by sinners, and calling aloud for vengeance, before they can see and feel their need of Christ crucified. By the preaching of the law they are prepared to receive the grace of the Gospel.”
I love those old, forgotten words. Propitiation, to satisfy the justice of God against sin, is the greatest of all news. Though my sins had stained my soul with darkness, the death of Christ in my place has made me whiter than snow. I am now righteous. The righteous deeds of Christ are considered mine by faith in Christ.
November 20, 2015
And I heard a voice from heaven like the roar of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder. The voice I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps, and they were singing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders.
I often think about this scene in heaven; as a matter of fact, it is going on right now. There are angels, seraphim, elders and the multitudes of redeemed and they are all engaged in worship at his very moment. The redeemed are singing a new song. Actually, we don’t have to wait for heaven to sing this song, this song is in us now. You heard me right, this song is in us. Reading about the outpouring of 1906 at Azusa Street, the participants spoke of a supernatural song that was a major part of the outpouring. It was said that the song was in them and was coming from deep within their chests. This song is like nothing this world offers. It is not a song that can be learned by the lost, this song is part of the new nature that is in us when we are born again. Jonathan Edwards preached about this experience in his church. Check this out.
“There must be an ability to sing. Not only the matter of the song must be learnt, but also the music of the song. But the music of this tune consists in the melody of the heart. Ephesians 5:19, “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.” As in order to learn the music of other songs, the voice must be tuned, so in order to learn the music of this song, the heart must be tuned. The music of this new song consists in holy admiration, in exalting thoughts of the glory of God and the Lamb and the great things of the gospel; and in divine love, in loving God for his excellency appearing in the face of Christ, in holy rejoicing in God and in delight and complacence of the soul in Jesus, whereby we, having not seen him, do love him and “rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory”. They that are unacquainted with this spiritual melody, they can’t learn to sing that new song.”
So there it is, in order to sing the new song, your heart has to be tuned. Are you in tune with this heavenly scene? Have you experienced this incredible love? How would you know? It is quite simple, Jesus becomes irresistible. You are amazed by Him and your response is the new song. You have become part of the song. Other songs seem empty and shallow because you have tasted the real. So go ahead, sing this new song to the Lord. When you do you are never alone; you are swept into the song of the ages, the song only the redeemed can sing.
November 19, 2015
Rom. 11:36 ¶ For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.
The book of Romans is a theological masterpiece. For the first eleven chapters Paul unveils the great foundational doctrines of our Christian faith. He covers the power of the gospel, the unveiling of God in creation, man’s failure to follow the law of God, the fall and sinfulness of man, the wages of sin, justification by faith alone, redemption, propitiation, sanctification, election, predestination, the power of the Spirit, and God’s ability to work out everything for the good for His sons and daughters. By the time Paul gets to chapter eleven he is totally undone. Gazing into God’s eternal plan of redemption had totally overwhelmed the apostle. Here are some thoughts from Adam Clarke on today’s amazing verse.
“The apostle considers the designs of God inscrutable, and his mode of governing the world incomprehensible. His designs, schemes, and ends are all infinite, and consequently unfathomable. It is impossible to account for the dispensations either of his justice or mercy. He does things under both these characters which far surpass the comprehension of men. But though his dispensations are a great deep, yet they are never self-contradictory: though they far surpass our reason, yet they never contradict reason; nor are they ever opposite to those ideas which God has implanted in man, of goodness, justice, mercy, and truth. But it is worthy of remark, that we can more easily account for the dispensations of his justice than we can for the dispensations of his mercy. We can every where see ten thousand reasons why he should display his justice; but scarcely can we find one reason why he should display his mercy. And yet, these displays of mercy for which we can scarcely find a reason, are infinitely greater and more numerous than his displays of justice, for which the reasons are, in a vast variety of cases, as obvious as they are multiplied.”
The mercy of God is unthinkable. All of us have sinned and sinned again against our God. What has been His response? Mercy. Now don’t think mercy is just overlooking sin; never. All sin has to be judged by a holy God. Here is where justice meets mercy. Christ became a man to accept the judgement of God on our sins. That is God’s plan. Mercy is not cheap, no it cost God His only Son. Justice has been fulfilled at the cross, mercy is extended to whosoever will. Unthinkable.
November 18, 2015
The Lord is my portion, saith my soul.
What does the average person value in life? What things do you value?
Have you ever thought about how much of your time and energy is spent working for those things? One of the great tragedies of life is spending all of your ability and wherewithal to amass property and possessions in this world. As they say, you can’t take it with you. As a matter of fact I have never seen a trailer full of stuff hitched to the hearse at a funeral. All of it stays here; we leave everything behind.
That is why today’s verse is so urgent. To the unregenerate mind it seems like just poetic language. To the soul that has been born again and tasted of the kingdom of heaven these are the most precious of all words. Christ is my portion. He is more valuable than all of earth’s possessions; more costly than diamonds and more perfect than gold. As Solomon said, “He is altogether lovely!”. Here are some thoughts from Spurgeon on the Lord our portion.
“It is not The Lord is partly my portion, nor the Lord is in my portion; but he himself makes up the sum total of my soul’s inheritance. Within the circumference of that circle lies all that we possess or desire. The Lord is my portion. Not his grace merely, nor his love, nor his covenant, but Jehovah himself. He has chosen us for his portion, and we have chosen him for ours. It is true that the Lord must first choose our inheritance for us, or else we shall never choose it for ourselves; but if we are really called according to the purpose of electing love…”
When this verse becomes real to us, our whole life radically changes. Of course we still like our nice things, our vacations, and our hobbies. They are just not our life anymore. Our life is more than a vacation, a football game, a boat, career, or a round of golf. Christ Himself has become our life and He is more than you can ever imagine.
As the end of the age draws near, this truth will become ever more important to us. Everything that can be shaken is beginning to tremble as His return draws near. There is only one thing that will not be shaken; those whose lives are hidden away in God’s love.
November 17, 2015
(My response to the recent terrorist attack)
2Tim. 3:1 AMP. BUT UNDERSTAND this, that in the last days will come (set in) perilous times of great stress and trouble [hard to deal with and hard to bear].
Are you like me, “What on earth is going on”?! France actually was terrorized by muslim extremists, at least one of which was on a refugee boat. Have we lost our minds? If I wasn’t fully convinced of God’s sovereignty I would be tempted to be afraid. Actually, rather than afraid, I feel an excitement starting to build in my belly.
“Excitement?” you ask. Yes, that’s right, a joyful anticipation to be more exact. I have a gut feeling that the Lord Himself will respond to the circumstances in the world. It seems as if there is some sort of spiritual dam that builds up in proportion to the foolishness that is going on in the world. Apparently, at some point the Lord gives the word and “wam”, all heaven breaks out.
“Prove it”, I thought I heard someone say. Well what about the California Earthquake of April 1906? Thousands of people died and 80% of San Francisco was destroyed. Within months, the greatest Pentecostal outpouring since the Day of Pentecost. The modern Pentecostal/Charismatic movement can all be traced to that revival. As a result, there are millions of Pentecostal believers in Asia, North and South America, and Africa. Pentecost is here to stay.
What about Pentecost itself? Jerusalem had been ravaged by a series of earthquakes from the day Christ died until His resurrection. The jews had been suffering under Roman domination for years. Their desperation spilled over into a thirst that culminated in the outpouring in the upper room, the world has never been the same.
Then there was the extermination of 6 million jews that resulted in the rebirth of the nation of Israel; the end of that story hasn’t been written. Israel’s situation promises to peak with a confrontation between the nations of the world and the greatest harvest of Israelis the world has ever seen. The Lord is orchestrating all things for world revival and judgement on those who reject His Son.
How should we respond to the accelerating events in our mixed up world? Hold true to your beliefs, refuse to compromise. Soak yourself daily in God’s word. Get in a church that is not ashamed of the supernatural in their services. Spend time in His presence, praying in the Holy Spirit. Finally, don’t be ashamed of the gospel, take every opportunity to share your faith. Eternity is at hand.
November 16, 2015
MERRY MONDAY BY PARRIS-
“For Jahve, His eyes run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong with those whose heart is devoted to Him;” i.e., for Jahve, who looks forth over all the earth, uses every opportunity wonderfully to succour those who are piously devoted to Him”
Kiel’s Translation 2 Chron.16:9
I remember finally settling it in my heart, that “God’s got this”. It happened in those revival years, where God was making me draw nigh to him, so he would draw nigh to me. Frank and I were having some personal struggles with our family and our church. It wasn’t as simple as blaming the devil or other people anymore, I needed to trust God and trust him completely. He desires our intimacies that makes us totally rely on Him for everything. He has eyes of mercy and goodness, (Gill) and whatever happens to us He “strongly holds us”. I must admit through all of our ups and downs, I can sense His presence by my side supporting me and uplifting me. Yes, learning how to be still and quiet my emotions is the key. When storms do come, I begin to recollect all the times he has brought me through.
Spurgeon cries out to us by saying, “Conceive not that there is a great gulf fixed between thee and the Father, across which his mercy cannot come, and over which thy prayers and faith can never leap. Oh, think not, son of man, that thou dwellest in a storm-girt island, cut off from the continent of eternity. I beseech thee, believe that there is a bridge across that chasm, a road along which feet may travel. This world is not separated, for all creation is but one body. And know thou, O son of man, though thou in this world doth but dwell, as it were on the foot, yet from the feet even to the head, there are nerves and veins that do unite the whole, The same great heart which beats in heaven beats on earth. The love of the Eternal Father which cheers the celestial, makes glad the terrestrial too. When a tear is wept by thee, think not thy Father doth not behold; for, “Like as a father pitieth his children so the Lord pitieth them that fear him.” Thy sigh is able to move the heart of Jehovah; thy whisper can incline his ear unto thee; thy prayer can stay his hands; thy faith can move his arm. Engraven upon the Father’s hand thy name remains; and on his heart recorded there thy person stands. He thought of thee before the worlds were made; before the channels of the sea were scooped, or the gigantic mountains lifted their heads in the white clouds, he thought of thee.”
As we see time and time again, our world being shattered, I pray you will draw strength from your maker. He has the whole world in his hands—–thank God!