|10/1/2023||Our Defeated Foe…|
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword . . .
How do we overcome the devil in everyday life? First, we need to recognize that the devil is a defeated foe. The Son of God came to undo the work of the devil. The crucifixion of Christ, which looked like a mighty victory for Satan, turned out to be a great triumph for God, because it was on the cross that Jesus took your sins and my sins. God laid our sins on Christ, so that when our Lord bowed His head and said, “It is finished,” He was referring to the plan of redemption and salvation. Then . . . we are to resist the devil. If we resist him, Scripture says, he will flee from us. Jesus overcame the devil not by argument but simply by quoting Scripture. That is why it is so important to learn and memorize Scripture passages.
|9/30/2023||Our Greatest Need…|
I stretch forth my hands unto thee; my soul thirsteth after thee, as a thirsty land…
Not long ago I visited the dean of a great American university. We looked out the window of his office and watched hundreds of students walking to their classes. I asked the dean, “What is the greatest problem at this university?” He thought a moment and answered, “Emptiness.” So many people today are bored, lonely, searching for something. You can see it in their faces.
One girl home from college told her wealthy father, “Father, I want something but I don’t know what it is.” That’s true of many people; we want something to meet the deepest problems of our lives, but we haven’t found it. David said, “I have found it. I shall not want.” The Apostle Paul expressed it, “I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.”
You don’t have to give up on life, to throw up your hands and cry, “It’s no use.” . . . You can have God’s peace, God’s joy, God’s happiness, God’s security; and yours can become the most thrilling life in the world.
|9/17/2023||The Power of Words…|
The tongue is a small thing, but what enormous damage it can do.
There is a story of a woman in England who came to her vicar with a troubled conscience. The vicar knew her to be a habitual gossip—she had maligned nearly everyone in the village. “How can I make amends?” she pleaded. The vicar said, “If you want to make peace with your conscience, take a bag of goose feathers and drop one on the porch of each one you have slandered.” When she had done so, she came back to the vicar and said, “Is that all?” “No,” said the wise old minister, “you must go now and gather up every feather and bring them all back to me.” After a long time the woman returned without a single feather. “The wind has blown them all away,” she said. “My good woman,” said the vicar, “so it is with gossip. Unkind words are easily dropped, but we can never take them back again.”
|9/16/2023||The Madness of the Gospel…|
We preach Christ crucified . . .
1 Corinthians 1:23
One of the great needs in the church today is for every Christian to become enthusiastic about his faith in Jesus Christ. This is the essence of vital spiritual experience. The apostles had been with Christ, and they could not help but testify to that which they had seen and heard. Every Christian should become an ambassador of Christ with the splendid abandon of Francis of Assisi. Every Christian should be so intoxicated with Christ and so filled with holy fervor that nothing could ever quench his ardor. The Gospel that Paul preached seemed madness to the world of his day. Let us have this madness! Let us capture some of the magnificent obsession that these early Christians had! Let us go forth as men and women filled with the Spirit of God!
|9/15/2023||Is It Well With Your Soul?|
And how does a man benefit if he gains the whole world and loses his soul in the process? For is anything worth more than his soul?
In the world in which we live, we give most attention to satisfying the appetites of the body and practically none to the soul. Consequently, we are one-sided. We become fat physically and materially, while spiritually we are lean, weak and anemic. The soul actually demands as much attention as the body. It demands fellowship and communion with God. It demands worship, quietness, and meditation. Unless the soul is fed and exercised daily, it becomes weak and shriveled. It remains discontented, confused, restless. Many people turn to alcohol to try to drown the cryings and longings of the soul. Some turn to a new sex experience. Others attempt to quiet the longings of their souls in other ways. But nothing but God ever completely satisfies, because the soul was made for God, and without God it is restless and in secret torment.
By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
The human soul is a lonely thing. It must have the assurance of companionship. Left entirely to itself, it cannot enjoy anything. God said in the beginning, “It is not good that man should dwell alone” (Genesis 2:18). The creation of Eve was the beginning of human companionship. God’s people are a body, not intended to function separately, not intended to be unconcerned for one another. The only true body in the world is the Church. The world may talk grandly of brotherhood, but in reality its philosophy is “each man for himself.” God’s children are guaranteed the richest and truest friendship, both here and hereafter. Only in a true friendship and a true love do we find a genuine basis for peace. Only God can break down the national and racial barriers that divide men today. Only God can supply that love that we must have for our fellowman. We will never build brotherhood of man upon earth until we are believers in Christ Jesus. The only true cohesive power in the world is Christ. He alone can bind human hearts together in genuine love.
|9/13/2023||If you are looking for Jesus Christ…|
Everything else is worthless when compared with the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus . . .
“Where is Jesus Christ?” Innumerable students are studying Him and deciding whether or not Christ and the Gospel really matter—whether He is relevant in this modern age. C.S. Lewis, a professor of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Oxford and later at Cambridge, had to do the same thing. He spent his life exploring the great literature of centuries. In his remarkable autobiography, Surprised by Joy, he tells of his pilgrimage from atheism to Christianity. His turning point came with the realization that the writing with the deepest meaning and greatest content was based on a deep, personal faith in God, by men like Augustine, Blaise Pascal, George Macdonald.
|9/12/2023||Be Meek…Be Happy…|
Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth.
In His characteristic way Jesus was saying something quite shocking and revolutionary to His listener with these words, “Happy are the meek.” He was saying something quite the opposite of our modern concept of the way to happiness. We say, “Happy are the clever, for they shall inherit the admiration of their friends”; “Happy are the aggressive, for they shall inherit a career”; “Happy are the rich, for they shall inherit a world of friends and a house full of modern gadgets.” Jesus did not say, “Be meek and you shall inherit the earth.” He, more than anyone else, knew that meekness was a gift of God, a result of rebirth. Jesus was not issuing a command in this Beatitude nor saying, “You ought to be meek, that is the way to live.” No! He was saying that if we want to find the secret of happiness, that if we want to enjoy living, then “meekness” is a basic key.
God is the one who invited you into this wonderful friendship with his Son, even Christ our Lord.
1 Corinthians 1:9
The question remains, “How can God be just—that is, true to Himself in nature and true to Himself in holiness—and yet justify the sinner?” Because each man had to bear his own sins, all mankind was excluded from helping, since each was contaminated with the same disease. The only solution was for an innocent party to volunteer to die physically and spiritually as a substitution before God. This innocent party would have to take man’s judgment, penalty, and death. But where was such an individual? Certainly, there was none on earth. There was only one possibility. God’s own Son was the only personality in the universe who had the capacity to bear in His own body the sins of the world. Only God’s Son was infinite and thus able to die for all.
|9/10/2023||Dream Great Dreams…|
Be thou faithful unto death.
In our day much of the world believes little or nothing. People are broad but shallow. Agnosticism, anxiety, emptiness, meaninglessness, have gripped much of the world—and even the church. Our youth are desperately searching for a purpose and a meaning in their lives. They are searching for fulfillment which they are not finding in sex and drugs. By contrast, our Pilgrim forebears stand as shining examples of men who were narrow but deep, certain of what they believed, unswerving in their loyalty, and passionately dedicated to the God they trusted, and for whom they would willingly have died. I say to you, more than 350 years after the Pilgrim Fathers landed in the New World: Dream great dreams, embrace great principles, renew your hope, but above all, like them, believe in the Christ who alone can give total meaning and an ultimate goal to your life. “For in Him we live and move and have our being.”
|9/9/2023||Science & Faith…|
He has given you a full understanding of the truth.
1 Corinthians 1:5
There is never any conflict between true science and our Christian faith. It is my own feeling that when all of the truth is known, it will be found that the Genesis story is a wonderfully accurate record of what took place when the world was created. This may be a telescoped record, giving only major points, but I believe it is scientifically accurate. To discard the Bible because we do not understand everything in it, or in the world, would be a foolish thing to do. Let me also suggest that teachers should confine themselves to those areas in which they are qualified. I have known unbelievers to attack the Christian faith through their teaching, even when they did not have the remotest idea of what true Christianity is. For instance, one does not send an art critic to write up a football game, or a sports writer to evaluate a painting. Ask God to give you the wisdom to keep things in their proper perspective, and—above all—faithfully read your Bible and pray every day. If you do, God will give you the faith and wisdom you need to meet any problem.
|9/8/2023||Be Honest with God…|
God loveth a cheerful giver.
2 Corinthians 9:7
The greatest blessing of giving is not on the financial side of the ledger but on the spiritual side. You receive a sense of being honest with God. You receive a consciousness that you are in partnership with God—that you are doing something constructive—that you are working with Him to reach the world for Jesus Christ. You are also enabled to hold on to this world’s goods loosely because the eternal values are always in view. How do you give? Is it liberally and cheerfully? Or is it sparingly and grudgingly? If you have been giving God the leftovers of your substance and your life, you have been missing the true joy and blessing of Christian giving and living.
|9/7/2023||The Mystery of Heaven…|
I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
What will heaven be like? Just as there is a mystery to hell, so there is a mystery to heaven. Yet I believe the Bible teaches that heaven is a literal place. Is it one of the stars? I don’t know, I can’t even speculate. The Bible doesn’t inform us. I believe that out there in space where there are one thousand million galaxies, each a hundred thousand light years or more in diameter, God can find some place to put us in heaven. I’m not worried about where it is. I know it will be where Jesus is. Christians don’t have to go around discouraged and despondent, with their shoulders bent. Think of it—the joy, the peace, the sense of forgiveness that He gives you, and then heaven, too.
|9/5/2023||The Truth Sets Us Free…|
Come unto me, all ye that labor . . .
The mark of a true Christian is found in his personal relationship to the Person of Jesus Christ. Christianity is Christ. Christ is Christianity. I speak reverently when I say that Jesus is more than His ideas. All that He said was true, but without Him even the truth would have been powerless. Men know the power of truth, and truth is that which sets men free. Jesus said, “I am the truth.”
|9/4/2023||The Greatest Work of Christ…|
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Jesus worked all His life. But the greatest work that Jesus did was not in the carpenter’s shop, nor even at the marriage feast of Cana where He turned the water into wine. The greatest work that Jesus did was not when He made the blind to see, the deaf to hear, the dumb to speak, nor even the dead to rise. The greatest work that Jesus did was not when He taught as One having authority, or when He scathingly denounced the Pharisees for their hypocrisy. The greatest work that Jesus did was not in the great ethical program He presented to mankind—that program which has become the foundation for Western culture. What, then, was His greatest work? His greatest work was achieved in those three dark hours on Calvary. Christ’s greatest work was His dying for us.
|9/3/2023||The Responsibility of Discipleship…|
Even while we were still there with you we gave you this rule: He who does not work shall not eat.
2 Thessalonians 3:10
One of the Christian’s responsibilities in following Christ is to have a new attitude toward work. So many young people want Christ without responsibility. Jesus was not a drop-out. As a carpenter, He worked hard with His hands. The Apostle Paul made tents for a living while he carried on the work that God assigned him. Whatever work a Christian does is done unto the Lord. He should do his best at whatever his trade or vocation. He should be faithful, clean, and honest.
|9/2/2023||The Struggles of Life…|
Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree …
1 Peter 2:24
All life is a struggle—that is the nature of things. Even within our physical bodies, doctors tell us, a conflict for supremacy is going on. The bacteria in our bloodstream are waging a constant war against alien germs. The red corpuscles fight the white corpuscles constantly in an effort to maintain life within the body. A battle is also raging in the spiritual realm. “We fight,” the Bible says, “against the rulers of the darkness of this world.” Darkness hates light. I have a dog that would rather dig up a moldy carcass to chew on than to have the finest, cleanest meal. He can’t help it—that is his nature. Men cannot help that it is their nature to respond to the lewd, the salacious, and the vile. They will have difficulty doing otherwise until they are born again. And until they are changed by the power of Christ, they will likely be at enmity against those who are associated with Christ.
|9/1/2023||The First Missionary…|
Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
Jesus Himself was the first missionary! He did not sit by passively and let those who happened to be interested in His teaching come to Him. He went out where the sick, the sorrowing, and the sad were, and expounded His message of joy, healing, and salvation. Even at a tender age, He went to the Temple and “taught” the doctors and lawyers who were entrenched in the old traditions. He found His way to the seaside and intruded upon the life of the commonest of laborers, saying, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Wherever He went He challenged, uprooted, and changed men. And at length they nailed Him to a cross because He had upset their selfish, secure, smug way of life. Not only was Jesus a missionary, but He pledged His followers to be missionaries, too!
|8/31/2023||Hope Beyond Death…|
The righteous hath hope in his death.
We don’t like to talk about death; it’s the forbidden subject of our generation. Yet it’s real for all of us. Sometimes on television I see motion pictures featuring actors who are no longer living. They seem very much alive in the picture, but they are dead. Some of them were my personal friends. Death is real, and when we die, that is a battle we have to fight all alone. Nobody can be with us in that hour, but David said he had found an answer that would take the fear of death away. David said that there is an answer to death, there is a hope beyond death. That hope is centered in the risen Christ. Paul wrote that to be “absent from the body” is to be “present with the Lord.” So the fear of death is removed.
|8/30/2023||Make Room in Your Heart…|
Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven.
When H. G. Wells summed up the influence of Jesus in history, he said, “Is it any wonder that this Galilean is too much for our small hearts?” And yet the heart of man, though small, is big enough for Christ to live in, if man will only make room for Him. Christ instilled the spirit of Christian love in His followers, so that they lived without malice and died without rancor. The love that Christ talked about can only be given to us by God. It is one of the fruits of the Spirit. When you come to Jesus Christ, He transforms you. Your past is forgiven. You receive a power to love men, beyond your natural ability to love.
|8/29/2023||Just As I Am..|
You are living a brand new kind of life . . . more and more like Christ who created this new life within you.
A long-haired blonde from a southern university seemed to be enjoying a satisfactory student career when her grades began to slip. “Life had become one long case of the blahs,” she confessed later. “I wasn’t walking around with a steady load of blues, but I wasn’t enjoying life. Small things made me blow up. I met some kids who seemed to know something I didn’t know, but I couldn’t get in on it. We went to several meetings, and one night the speaker said that we don’t earn God’s love. He takes us as we are. It was then I realized it wasn’t a matter of clocking up a certain number of hours doing good deeds. Instead, I had to make myself available. Through faith, I had to let Him take over. It came together all at once, when I accepted Christ as my personal Savior. I know that God is in me in everything I do. My life has taken on a new dimension.” Does your life have this new dimension? It can! Just begin now with Jesus Christ! When you make this beginning, it will be your first step toward realizing personal fulfillment, meaning, and joy.
|8/28/2023||Grace and Peace…|
Unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.
The Christian life is never spoken of in the Bible as a bed of roses. It is uphill, because society is coming one way and the Christian is going the opposite way. But Jesus said that in the midst of your problems, in the midst of your difficulties, He will be there to give you grace and peace. Underneath all the troubles, will be the “still waters” that the Great Shepherd can provide. Many people are trying to steady themselves by taking tranquilizers. Jesus is the greatest tranquilizer of all. He can straighten out your life and put you back on center. Let Him take full control. You’ll go on your way rejoicing, as did those in the New Testament who met Jesus.
|8/27/2023||The Secret of Surrender…|
Just as you used to be slaves to all kinds of sin, so now you must let yourselves be slaves to all that is right and holy.
We have heard the modern expression, “Don’t fight it—it’s bigger than both of us.” Those who are meek do not fight back at life. They learn the secret of surrender, or yielding to God. He then fights for us! Instead of filling your mind with resentments, abusing your body by sinful diversion, and damaging your soul by willfulness, humbly give all over to God. Your conflicts will disappear and your inner tensions will vanish into thin air. Then your life will begin to count for something. You will have the feeling of belonging to life. Boredom will melt away, and you will become vibrant with hope and expectation. Because you are meekly yielded, you will begin to “inherit the earth” of good things, which God holds in store for all who trust Him with their all.
And the disciples were called Christians . . .
In the third century Cyprian, the Bishop of Carthage, wrote to his friend Donatus, “It is a bad world, Donatus, an incredibly bad world. But I have discovered in the midst of it a quiet and holy people, who have learned a great secret. They have found a joy which is a thousand times better than any of the pleasures of our sinful life. They are despised and persecuted, but they care not. They are masters of their souls. They have overcome the world. These people, Donatus, are Christians . . . and I am one of them.” If you have repented of your sins and have received Christ as Savior, then you, too, are one of them.
|8/25/2023||The Purity of Marriage…|
Whatsoever things are pure . . . think on these things.
Nowhere does the Bible teach that sex in itself is a sin. Man in his sinful nature has taken what was intended to be a glorious and complete act of love between two people and has made it something low, cheap, and dirty.
The Bible is one of the world’s outspoken books on the subject of sex, and the Bible condemns sex outside the bonds of matrimony. The fact that immorality is rampant throughout the nation doesn’t make it right; the fact that some clergymen may condone it doesn’t make it right. The Bible says, “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man; but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Proverbs 16:25). Under Jewish law adultery was punishable by death. Under God’s law today it also results in spiritual death.
|8/24/2023||Root of Sin…|
Overwhelming victory is ours through Christ who loved us enough to die for us.
The basic problem facing our world is not just social inequity, or lack of education, or even physical hunger. We are finding that highly educated and well-fed people have greeds, hates, passions, and lusts that are not eliminated by education. The root of sin in each of our hearts is extremely deep, and this is the basic cause of the world’s problems; only the fire of the Lord can burn it out. This is precisely what Christ came to do. He didn’t come to treat symptoms. He came to get at the very heart of man’s disease.
|8/23/2023||We Must Decrease…|
Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the Lord.
Our modern philosophy of self-reliance and self-sufficiency has caused many to believe that we can make the grade without God. “Religion,” they argue, “may be all right for certain emotional people, but you can’t beat a man who believes in himself.” But this self-confident generation has produced more alcoholics, more dope addicts, more criminals, more wars, more broken homes, more assaults, more embezzlements, more murders, and more suicides than any other generation that ever lived. It is time for all of us to take stock of our failures, blunders, and costly mistakes. It is about time that we are putting less confidence in ourselves and more trust and faith in God.
|8/22/2023||This World Is Not Our Home…|
For we know that when this tent we live in now is taken down-when we die and leave these bodies-we will have wonderful new bodies in heaven, homes that will be ours forevermore, made for us by God himself, and not by human hands.
2 Corinthians 5:1
Death, to the Christian, is the exchanging of a tent for a building. Here we are as pilgrims or gypsies, living in a frail, flimsy home; subject to disease, pain, and peril. But at death we exchange this crumbling, disintegrating tent for a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. The wandering wayfarer comes into his own at death and is given the title to a mansion which will never deteriorate nor crumble. Do you think that God, who has provided so amply for living, has made no provision for dying? The Bible says we are strangers in a foreign land. This world is not our home; our citizenship is in heaven. When a Christian dies, he goes into the presence of Christ. He goes to Heaven to spend eternity with God.
|8/21/2023||What Heaven Will Be Like…|
And there shall be no more curse; but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him.
The Bible indicates that Heaven will be a place of great understanding and knowledge of things that we never learned down here. Sir Isaac Newton, when an old man, said to one who praised his wisdom, “I am as a child on the seashore picking up a pebble here and a shell there, but the great ocean of truth still lies before me.” And Thomas Edison once said, “I do not know one millionth part of one percent about anything.” Many of the mysteries of God—the heartaches, trials, disappointments, tragedies, and the silence of God in the midst of suffering—will be revealed in Heaven.
|8/20/2023||3 Kinds of Pleasure…|
The disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost.
The Bible speaks of three kinds of pleasure. There is lustful pleasure, the lust of the flesh, and Scripture says it is sinful and wrong. There is legitimate pleasure, which is not wrong, but we are not to become so preoccupied with its activities that it takes the place of God. Then there is a third kind of pleasure, lasting pleasure. Do you have that kind? It does not depend on circumstances or feelings. It is the pleasure that runs deep and comes from the Spirit of God.
|8/19/2023||Be Not Anxious…|
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
Christians are to rejoice. To do that, you need only to think of the great things God has done for you. Then we are told not to be anxious, but in our prayers to make our requests known to God. In your biggest problems you have One to whom you can go; and before Him you can pour out your heart with the assurance that He will not leave you without an answer to that great problem. Then we are to fill our minds with those things that are good. They are mentioned in the Scriptures as being things that are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, of good report, and of virtue. It is upon these things that we are to think. Live positively, not negatively. Once you learn that secret, God will have given you the victory.
|8/18/2023||Where Is Your Treasure?|
Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven.
Many young people are building their lives on the rock of materialism. I find across the country a deep economic discontent among people in every walk of life. People want more and more things. They forget that we are enjoying the highest standard of living the world has ever known. We still have poverty, and hundreds of agencies are trying to do something about it; but we are dissatisfied. We want more, more, more. But Jesus said, “You cannot serve God and money.” He said that a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things that he possesses. Adolf Berle, in his study of power, points out that riches often make people solitary and lonely and, of course, afraid. Many times a rich man knows loneliness and fear, because when he makes wealth his god, it leaves him empty. You see, without God life loses its zest and purpose and meaning.
|8/17/2023||Cast Your Cares…|
Look at the birds! They don’t worry about what to eat-they don’t need to sow or reap or store up food-for your heavenly Father feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than they are.
Some section hands on a British railroad found a thrush’s nest under a rail. Peacefully sitting on her eggs, the hen was undisturbed by the roar of the fast trains above and around her. Someone has written a little verse which goes:
“Said the robin to the sparrow,
‘I should really like to know,
Why these anxious human beings
Rush about and worry so.’
Said the sparrow to the robin,
‘Friend, I think that it must be,
That they have no heavenly Father
Such as cares for you and me.’”
Jesus used the carefree attitude of the birds to underscore the fact that worrying is unnatural. I am learning in my own life, day by day, to keep my mind centered on Christ, and the worries and anxieties and concerns of the world pass, and nothing but “perfect peace” is left in the human heart. God has taken the responsibility for our care and worry.
|8/16/2023||Hunger for Righteousness…|
I will give to the thirsty the springs of the Water of Life—as a gift!
God says that only those who hunger after righteousness will receive it. God thrusts this heavenly manna on no one. You must desire it, above everything else. Your yearning for God must supersede all other desires. It must be like a gnawing hunger and a burning thirst.
|8/15/2023||Wonders of Nature…|
These things that were written in the Scriptures so long ago are to teach us.
In the wonders of nature we see God’s laws in operation. Who has not looked up at the stars on a cloudless night and marveled in silent awe at the glory of God’s handiwork? Who has not felt his heart lifted in the spring of the year, as he sees all creation bursting with new life and vigor? In the beauty and abundance around us we see the magnitude of God’s power and the infinite detail of His planning; but nature tells us nothing of God’s love or God’s grace. Conscience tells us in our innermost being of the presence of God and of the moral difference between good and evil; but this is a fragmentary message, in no way as distinct and comprehensive as the lessons of the Bible. It is only in its pages that we find the clear and unmistakable message upon which all true Christianity is based.
|8/14/2023||The Beginning of Wisdom…|
But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom.
1 Corinthians 1:30
I believe we ought to get all the education we can, but we dare not make it our god. John Dewey once defined education as the systematic, purposeful reconstruction of experience; but so much of modern education leaves out God. What we are actually doing is reconstructing our sins. We expand our sins, enlarge them, multiply them. We need education, but not just for the mind and the body; we also need education for the spirit. Man has a spirit, and in our educational system today we need a spiritual emphasis. If we bring up a generation that lacks the wisdom that God can give, they can turn into educated savages and fools. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” and education. Let’s make sure our rock is God.
|8/13/2023||His Resurrection Changes Everything…|
Christ died and rose again . . . so that he can be our Lord both while we live and when we die.
With a frequency that is amazing, the Bible affirms the fact of the bodily resurrection of Christ. Perhaps the most direct of all its statements is Luke’s account in the book of Acts, where he reports, “To whom also he showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days” (Acts 1:3). What are we going to do with these “many infallible proofs”? Someone asked my colleague George Beverly Shea how much he knew about God. He said, “I don’t know much, but what I do know has changed my life.” We may not be able to take all of this evidence into a scientific laboratory and prove it; but, if we accept any fact of history, we must accept the fact that Jesus Christ rose from the dead.
|8/12/2023||Poverty of Soul…|
For my people are foolish, they have not known me.
No man is more pathetic than he who is in great need and is not aware of it. Remember Samson? Standing there in the valley of Sorek, surrounded by the lords of the Philistines, ” … he wist not that the Lord was departed from him.” It has been truly said, “No man is so ignorant as he who knows nothing and knows not that he knows nothing. No man is so sick as he who has a fatal disease and is not aware of it. No man is so poor as he who is destitute, and yet thinks he is rich.” The pitiable thing about the Pharisees was not so much their hypocrisy as it was their utter lack of knowledge of how poor they actually were in the sight of God. There is always something pathetic about a man who thinks he is rich when he is actually poor, who thinks he is good when he is actually vile, who thinks he is educated when he is actually illiterate.
|8/11/2023||The Unmerited Favor of God…|
For by grace are ye saved.
“Grace,” according to the dictionary, is the unmerited favor of God toward mankind. The word “grace” is used over 170 times in the New Testament alone. Grace is not bought. It is a free gift of almighty God to needy mankind. When I picture Jesus Christ dying on the cross, I see the free gift of God’s grace in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself. I sing with the songwriter, “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see.” Your human mind, with its philosophy of an equal return for favors done, can hardly comprehend the full meaning of this grace of God. But when you catch, by the inspiration of God, its full meaning, you will leave the limits of human reasoning and revel in the spiritual riches of divine truth and privilege.
Yes, the grace of God is a reality. Thousands have tried, tested, and proved that it is more than a cold creed, a docile doctrine, or a tedious theory. The grace of God has been tested in the crucible of human experience, and has been found to be more than an equal for the problems and sins of humanity.
|8/10/2023||A New World…|
Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for
them that love him.
1 Corinthians 2:9
At the close of the Bible we encounter these words, “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away.” A new world is coming! Each time we pray in the Lord’s Prayer, “Thy kingdom come,” we should remember that that prayer will be answered. Heaven is described as a new creation in which we shall move in new bodies, possessed of new names, singing new songs, living in a new city, by a new form of government, and challenged by new prospects of eternity with social justice for all. The paradise that man lost will be regained, but it will be much more. It will not be the old one repaired, patched up, and made over. When God says, “Behold, I make all things new,” the emphasis is on all things. One day we shall live in a brand-new world. Centuries ago the apostles greeted each other with the word, “Maranatha”—the Lord is coming.
|8/9/2023||The Eternal Fact…|
And all who trust him—God’s Son—to save them have eternal life.
Currently, Christianity is being compared with other religions as never before. Some so-called Christian leaders even advocate the working out of a system of morals, ethics, and religion that would bring together all the religions of the world. It cannot be done. Jesus Christ is unique. Why insist on the uniqueness of Christ? What did Christ bring into the world that had not appeared before? The Christian answer is that He is the supreme manifestation of God. “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself” (2 Corinthians 5:19). This is the eternal fact of our Christian faith.
|8/8/2023||Unity in Scripture…|
. . . holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
2 Peter 1:21
Although one can derive inspiration from any portion of the Scripture, it is better to have an understanding of the general structure of the Bible to get the most out of it. The Old Testament is an account of a nation, Israel. Out of that nation came Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. The New Testament is an account of a Man, the Son of man, the Savior. God Himself became a man, so that we might know what He is like. His appearance on the earth was the central, most important event of history. The Old Testament gives the background for this event; the New Testament tells the story of its fulfillment. You will find a unity of thought and purpose which indicates that one mind inspired the writing of the whole.
|8/7/2023||The Mind of Christ…|
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
2 Timothy 1:7
Many diseases of both body and mind are self-inflicted. For example, ulcers are often caused by worry and anxiety. Heart attacks are caused many times by overexertion. Unjustified worry, fear, prejudice, hatred, and envy can contribute to mental stress, which could lead to mental illness. So one way to have a healthy mind is to avoid those practices. But the Bible way to a healthy mind is this, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” If you have the mind of Christ, worry will be offset by trust, enmity by love, and fear by faith.
|8/6/2023||Ills of the Human Race…|
Set thy house in order . . .
2 Kings 20:1
Man condemns himself by his refusal of God’s way of salvation. In love and mercy, God is offering to men and women a way of escape, a way of salvation, a hope and anticipation of better things. Man in his blindness, stupidity, stubbornness, egotism, and love of sinful pleasure, refuses God’s simple method of escaping the pangs of eternal banishment. Suppose you were sick and called a doctor who came and gave you a prescription. But after thinking it over you decided to ignore his advice and to refuse the medicine. When he returned a few days later, he might have found your condition much worse. Could you blame the doctor? Could you hold him responsible? He gave you the prescription, he prescribed the remedy. But you refused it!
Just so, God prescribes the remedy for the ills of the human race. That remedy is personal faith in, and commitment to, Jesus Christ. The remedy is to be “born again.” If we deliberately refuse it, then we must suffer the consequence; and we cannot blame God. Is it God’s fault that we refuse the remedy?
|8/5/2023||Love One Another…|
But if we are living in the light of God’s presence, just as Christ does, then we have wonderful fellowship and joy with each other, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from every sin.
1 John 1:7
I received a letter from a man in Charlotte, North Carolina. He said that, until our Charlotte Crusade, he was filled with hatred, bitterness, and prejudice toward people of another race. He had joined one of the extremist organizations and was on the verge of engaging in violence. Out of curiosity he came to the meetings, and one night he was gloriously converted. He said, “All bitterness, hatred, malice, and prejudice immediately left me. I found myself in the counseling room sitting beside a person of another race. Through my tears I gripped the hand of this man, whom a few hours before I would have detested. My racial problem has been solved. I now find that I love all men regardless of the color of their skin.”
Only Christ can solve the complicated racial problem that is facing the world today. Until people of all races come to accept Christ as Savior, they do not have the ability to love each other. Christ can give supernatural love, which enables you to love even those whom you otherwise could not love.
|8/4/2023||Guard Against Greed…|
You cannot serve two masters: God and money.
Tell me what you think about money, and I will tell you what you think about God, for these two are closely related. A man’s heart is closer to his wallet than anything else. It is a staggering fact that for the past few years people have spent ten times as much for luxuries and non-essentials as they have for all charitable and religious purposes. This is a commentary on our shallow and superficial religious faith.
While the Bible warns us against greed and selfishness, it does encourage frugality and thrift. Even Jesus said to His disciples after He fed the multitude, “Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.” Although our Lord had the power to create, He Himself lived frugally and without luxury. John Wesley had a threefold philosophy about money. He said, “Make all you can; keep all you can; and give all you can.” Most of us get all we can, spend all we can; borrow all we can; and give meagerly to God.
|8/3/2023||Sufficient to Save…|
There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
A line of human thought that seems right to many people is the idea of self-redemption. Man thinks he must work at righteousness to save himself. After all, it was man who sinned and as we say, “God helps those who help themselves.” But a greater truth than this emerges from the Bible-the truth that God helps those who cannot help themselves. We cannot save ourselves. It is noble to be upright if we can. It is admirable to be honest, kind, and compassionate. It would seem that these characteristics would be sufficient to save our souls. But the Bible says that though this way seems right, it is wrong.
|8/2/2023||Demands of the Soul…|
And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought . . .
The soul demands as much attention as the body. It demands fellowship and communion with God. It demands worship, quietness, and meditation. Unless the soul is fed and exercised daily, it becomes weak and shriveled. It remains discontented, confused, restless. Many people turn to alcohol to try to drown the cryings and longings of the soul. Some turn to a new sex experience. Others attempt to quiet the longings of their souls in other ways. Nothing but God ever completely satisfies, because the soul is made for God, and without God it is restless and in secret torment. The first step to God is a realization of your spiritual poverty. The poor in spirit do not measure the worth of life in earthly possessions, which fade away, but in terms of eternal realities, which endure forever. Wise is the man who openly confesses his lack of spiritual wealth and in humility of heart cries, “God, be merciful unto me, a sinner.”
Pride goes before destruction and haughtiness before a fall.
David, king of ancient Israel, found himself in the midst of a confused national situation. His kingdom was torn by internal strife. Slave hated master; master hated slave. People blamed the government, and government blamed the people. David looked about him and saw that every man thought himself perfect. Each individual placed blame upon other individuals. David knew that if sinful pride continued to increase, his nation would collapse spiritually. He knew that economic depression, moral disintegration, or military defeat inevitably follow spiritual decline. So David turned to God, and it was revealed to him by the Spirit of God that the spiritual tide of his nation could rise no higher than the spiritual level of his own heart. So he fell on his knees in utter humility and prayed, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23,24).
When we suffer and die for Christ it only means that we will begin living with him in heaven.
2 Timothy 2:11
I have a friend who during the Depression lost his job, a fortune, a wife, and a home. But he tenaciously held to his faith—the only thing he had left. One day he stopped to watch some men doing stonework on a huge church. One of them was chiseling a triangular piece of stone. “What are you going to do with that?” asked my friend. The workman said, “See that little opening away up there near the spire? Well, I’m shaping this down here, so it will fit in up there.” Tears filled the eyes of my friend as he walked away, for it seemed that God had spoken through the workman to explain his ordeal through which he was passing, “I’m shaping you down here, so you’ll fit in up there.”
|7/30/2023||A Covenant With Eyes…|
Keep thyself pure.
1 Timothy 5:22
Someone has said, “You cannot help the first look, but the second is sin.” Jesus indicated that you can engage in immorality by a look. The Bible places the “lust of the eye” right along with other major sins. Listen: “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” Peter spoke of having “eyes full of adultery.” No wonder Job said, “I have made a covenant with my eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?” Your eyes see only what your soul allows them to see.
|7/29/2023||Faith Pleases God…|
You can never please God without faith, without depending on him. Anyone who wants to come to God must believe that there is a God and that he rewards those who sincerely look for him.
Faith pleases God more than anything else. The Christian life is dependent upon faith. We stand on faith; we live on faith. Faith is loved and honored by God more than any other single thing. The Bible teaches that faith is the only approach that we have to God. No man has sins forgiven, no man goes to heaven, no man has assurance of peace and happiness, until he has faith in Jesus Christ. You may be saying, “God, I believe you are a great person, but I do not believe your Word; I do not believe what you say.” In order to please God, you must believe Him. Perhaps your faith is small and weak. It does not matter how big your faith is, but rather, where your faith is. Is it in Christ, the Son of God, who died on the cross for your sins?
|7/28/2023||Truth and Fiction…|
. . . make known to the sons of men his mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of his kingdom.
Some years ago I heard about a clergyman who had a friend who was an actor. The actor was drawing large crowds of people, and the clergyman was preaching to a few in the church. He said to his actor friend, “Why is it that you draw great crowds, and I have no audience at all? Your words are sheer fiction, and mine are unchangeable truth.” The actor’s reply was quite simple. “I present my fiction as though it were truth; you present your truth as though it were fiction.” I fear that so often we Christians give the idea that the truth is fiction by the way we live and by the lack of dedication to the teachings of our Lord.
|7/27/2023||Give and Take…|
Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity.
Certain relationships in life require from the parties involved only moderate degrees of devotion. A certain degree of reserve and distance seems to be suitable in such relations as these. But there are other relationships in life where all this is changed when friendship becomes love. Two hearts give themselves to each other to be no longer two, but one. Instead of being separated, their interest and paths are now together. The reserve and the distance suitable to mere friendships is fatal in real love. Love gives all and must have all in return. The wishes of the other party become binding obligations; and the deepest desire of each heart is to know every secret wish and longing of the other, in order that it may do all in its power to gratify those desires. Is that the kind of love, affection, and obedience you have for Christ?
|7/26/2023||The End of Life…|
. . . willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
2 Corinthians 5:8
A little boy was riding alone on a train on a hot day when the travelers were extremely uncomfortable; and the scenery was not too interesting as they passed through the desert of Arizona. A lady sitting beside the boy asked him, “Are you tired of the long ride?” The little boy smiled and said, “I’m a little tired, but I don’t mind it much. You see, my father is going to meet me when I get to Los Angeles.” Sometimes we get a little tired of the burdens of life, but it is exhilarating to know that Jesus Christ will meet us at the end of life’s journey. The joy of being with Him forever is beyond the ability of any writer to describe.
|7/25/2023||Sanctity of Marriage…|
How I need your help, especially in my own home . . .
In the marriage ceremony, after the vows are said, the minister solemnly and reverently remarks, “What God hath joined together let no man put asunder.” Is not God the third part in a marriage? Should He not be taken into account in the marriage, and in the home that emerges from that marriage? If God joins the couple together at the outset, should not His presence be recognized in the home continually? Many homes are on the rocks today because God has been left out of the domestic picture.
With the clash of personalities in a domestic pattern, there must be an integrating force, and the living God is that Force! Many couples think that if they have a better home, get a better job, or live in a different neighborhood, their domestic life will be happier. No! The secret of domestic happiness is to let God, the party of the third part in the marriage contract, have His rightful place in the home. Make peace with Him, and then you can be a real peacemaker in the home.
|7/24/2023||What God Expects…|
He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much . . .
What God expects, and all God expects, is that we dedicate completely all of our talents and gifts to Him. That is the meaning of the parable of the talents in Matthew, chapter 25. Read this parable, and you will see that we are always rewarded because of our faithfulness. You can be just as faithful as anyone and have the commendation of the Lord. Take the one talent you have and invest it in eternal things. Some talented people lose their reward because they do things to be seen of men. Some untalented people lose their reward because they fail to dedicate what they have, because it is not noticed by men. Both have sinned equally.
|7/23/2023||Sufficient to Meet Your Needs…|
I am with you, that is all you need. My power shows up best in weak people.
2 Corinthians 12:9
A director of a camp whose purpose is to lead young hoodlums to Christ says, “Being a Christian is the toughest thing in the world. What’s tougher than loving your enemy?” One boy, who developed into a rugged disciple of Christ at this camp, said, “In this outfit we’re all brothers and we’re all men. It was too tough for me at first, but then I heard that through Christ everything is possible. Then the roughness went away. I say a man is not a man, not a full man, until he gets to know Jesus Christ.” Yes, the Christian life is tough and rough; but it’s challenging. It’s worth everything it costs to be a follower of Jesus Christ. You will soon find that the cross is not greater than His grace. When you pick up the cross of unpopularity, wherever you may be, you will find God’s grace is there, more than sufficient to meet your every need.
Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Before the Big Four Conference in Geneva I watched President Eisenhower kneel in a chapel and ask God for divine guidance in the deliberations to follow. I felt sure that God would answer his earnest prayer. I believe that He did, for President Eisenhower during those days displayed the spirit of a true peacemaker on the international level. The only corrective measure in establishing peace is for men as individuals to know the peace of God. Though I am not wholly averse to movements which strive in one way or another for world peace, I have a strong conviction that such peace will never come unless there is a spiritual dynamic at the core. I pray for wars to cease, just as I pray for crime to stop; but I know that the basic cause of both crime and war is the inherent sinfulness of human nature. The world cannot be reborn until men are born again and are at peace with God.
|7/21/2023||Talk vs. Action…|
Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter
into the kingdom of heaven.
In a decadent society the will to believe, to resist, to contend, to fight, to struggle, is gone. In place of this will to resist, there is the desire to conform, to drift, to follow, to yield, and to give up. This is what happened in Rome, but it also applies to us. The same conditions that prevailed in Rome prevail in our society. Before Rome fell, her standards were abandoned, the family disintegrated, divorce prevailed, immorality was rampant, and faith was at a low ebb. As Gibbon said, “There was much talk of religion, but few practiced it.”
|7/20/2023||No Strings Attached…|
Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.
2 Corinthians 9:15
A gift is not a gift unless it is accepted. God has given you His Son, but ownership is conditional on acceptance. God does not force His gift on us, but He asks us to receive by faith the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ. A person who deliberately refuses God’s offer of love, mercy, and forgiveness is lost. Most people gratefully receive a gift when given in love. The greatest sin that a person can commit is to refuse God’s love.
|7/19/2023||Words to Count On…|
Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of Hosts . . .
After the crucifixion the beleaguered disciples despaired and said, “We had hoped that He was the one to redeem Israel” (Luke 24:21, RSV). There was anguish, despair, and tragedy in their midst. Life had lost its meaning and purpose. But when the resurrection became apparent, life took on a new meaning. It had purpose and reason.
David Livingstone once addressed a group of students at Glasgow University. When he rose to speak, he bore on his body the marks of his African struggles. Several illnesses on nearly 30 occasions had left him gaunt and haggard. His left arm, crushed by a lion, hung limp by his side. After describing his trials and tribulations, he said, “Would you like to have me tell you what supported me through all the years of exile among people whose language I could not understand, and whose attitude toward me was always uncertain and often hostile? It was this, ‘Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ On these words I staked everything, and they never failed.”
|7/18/2023||Satisfaction of Soul…|
Thou shalt rejoice in every good thing which the Lord thy God hath given unto thee . . .
Often the Church has banged away negatively at evils without reminding us that God is tremendously interested in our finding a satisfying way of life here and now. We Christians have talked so much of the negative side of Christian experience that we have forgotten to emphasize the positive, joyous, thrilling, and victorious experience of daily fellowship with Christ. God declared that things will not satisfy. God satisfies! This is the secret of soul-satisfaction: Let your soul delight itself in fatness. Remove the obstructions, tear down the barriers, and let your soul find the fulfillment of its deepest longings in fellowship with God.
|7/17/2023||Jesus to the Rescue…|
God is our refuge and strength, a tested help in times of trouble.
Scripture tells us that God tempts no one. Temptation always comes from the devil. God will test us and allow us to endure the temptation, but the devil does the tempting. How do we overcome it? A little girl once told her method. “When the devil comes knocking at the door,” she said, “I don’t answer it. I send Jesus to the door.” And that is exactly the way to take care of it. Send Jesus to the door!
|7/16/2023||Solving the Problem…|
Lord, grant us peace; for all we have and are has come from you.
Only a few years ago children were delighted at the prospect of a trip to the wharves to see the great ships come in. Today they are blasé about helicopters and jet planes. We who once marveled at the telegraph now take for granted the far greater miracle of television. Not so long ago many of the physical diseases were termed hopeless and incurable. Today we have drugs so effective that age-old diseases are becoming rare. We have accomplished much, of that there is no doubt. But with all this progress, we have not solved the basic problem of the human race. We can build the highest buildings, the fastest ships, the longest bridges—but we still can’t govern ourselves, or live together peacefully and with equality.
|7/15/2023||Disappointment Becomes Joy…|
They shall see his face . . .
One of the great bonuses of being a Christian is the great hope that extends beyond the grave into the glory of God’s tomorrow. A little girl was running toward a cemetery as the darkness of evening began to fall. She passed a friend who asked her if she was not afraid to go through the graveyard at night. “Oh, no,” she said, “I’m not afraid. My home is just on the other side!” We Christians are not afraid of the night of death because our heavenly home is “just on the other side.” The resurrection of Christ changed the midnight of bereavement into a sunrise of reunion; it changed the midnight of disappointment into a sunrise of joy; it changed the midnight of fear to a sunrise of peace. Today faith and confidence in the resurrected Christ can change your fear to hope and your disappointment to joy.
|7/14/2023||An Upside Down World…|
Follow not that which is evil, but that which is good . . .
3 John 11
We must get this fact firmly fixed in our minds: we live in an upside-down world. “, fight when they should be peaceful, wound when they should heal, steal when they should share, do wrong when they should do right. I once saw a toy clown with a weight in its head. No matter what position you put it in, it invariably assumed an upside-down position. Put it on its feet or on its side, and when you let go it flipped back on its head. Unregenerate people are just like that! Do what you may with them and they always revert to an upside-down position. That is why the disciples to the world were misfits. To an upside-down person, a right-side up person seems upside down. To a sinner, a righteous person is an oddity and an abnormality. A Christian’s goodness is a rebuke to the wicked; his being right-side up is a reflection upon the worldling’s inverted position.
|7/13/2023||The Power of Choice…|
The Lord hath anointed me . . . to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.
Viktor Frankl in his book, “Man’s Search for Meaning,” describes the reactions of two brothers with the same heredity, the same environment, in the same concentration camp under the Nazis. One became a saint and the other a swine. Frankl tells us the reason why. He said, “Each man has within him the power to choose how he will react to any given situation.” God has given us the power of choice. Some people today do not wish to accept the responsibility for their actions. They blame society. They blame the environment. They blame the schools. They blame the circumstances. But Adam sinned in a perfect environment under perfect circumstances. We can’t blame it all on somebody else. We must accept the blame ourselves for our part. Society is made up of individuals. If we have social injustice, we’re the ones who are wrong; we’re part of it. Let’s accept our responsibility to do something about it.
|7/12/2023||A Genuine Hero…|
Jesus saith . . . I am the way, the truth, and the life . . .
With much of society a disappointment, young people have begun to search for answers on their own. Everywhere I travel, I find young people who are asking: What is truth? Who says so? What is right and what is wrong? Is there a final authority? Yes! There is an authority! There is a moral law! It has been exemplified in a real Person. There is a genuine Hero in whom you can believe, who will never let you down. His name is Jesus Christ. He was born into a world as jumbled and riddled with injustice as yours, but He changed it by changing people.
Looking for that blessed hope.
One of the best ways to get rid of discouragement is to remember that Christ is coming again. The most thrilling, glorious truth in all the world is the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. When we look around and see pessimism on every side, we should remember the Bible is the only Book in the world that predicts the future. The Bible is more modern than tomorrow morning’s newspaper. The Bible accurately foretells the future, and it says that the consummation of all things shall be the coming again of Jesus Christ to this earth. If your life is dismal, depressed, and gloomy today, Christ can turn those dark clouds inside out. The sunlight of His love can still shine into the darkest part of your life.
|7/10/2023||Time for Us…|
Do not worry about your life.
Some people ask, “Do you think God has time for me? You don’t know how mixed up my life is, how confused it is; the pressures, the tension at home, the business problems, so many things I couldn’t possibly tell you about, including the sins in my life that I somehow cannot seem to give up.” Yes, God has time for you. When Jesus was dying on the cross, He had time for a thief who turned to Him and said, “Lord, remember me.” That’s all the record tells us that the thief said, “Lord, remember me.” But what he was really saying was, “I’m unworthy. I’ve broken all the laws. I deserve hell. Just remember me.” And Jesus turned to him in that moment and said, “Today you will be with me in Paradise.”
|7/9/2023||Thoughts and Actions…|
May my spoken words and unspoken thoughts be pleasing even to you, O Lord my Rock and my Redeemer.
Robert Browning said, “Thought is the soul of the act.” Emerson said, “Thought is the seat of action. The ancestor of every action is thought.” If God destroyed the world once for its continually evil imaginations, is it not reasonable to believe that all of the sin, lust, and licentiousness that is rampant today grieves His heart just as it did in that day? Many people dream of sin, imagine sin, and-if granted the opportunity-would indulge in sin. All they lack is the occasion to sin. So, in the sight of God, they are sinners as great as though they actually had committed immorality. All transgressions begin with sinful thinking.
You who have come to Christ for a pure heart, guard against the pictures of lewdness and sensuality which Satan flashes upon the screen of your imagination, select with care the books you read, choose discerningly the kind of entertainment you attend, the kind of associates with whom you mingle, and the kind of environment in which you place yourself. You should no more allow sinful imaginations to accumulate in your mind and soul than you would let garbage collect in your living room.
|7/8/2023||Released From Selfishness…|
He must increase, but I must decrease.
Self-centeredness is the basic cause of much of our distress in life. Hypochondria, a mental disorder which is accompanied by melancholy and depression, is often caused by self-pity and self-centeredness. Most of us suffer from spiritual nearsightedness. Our interests, our loves, and our energies are too often focused upon ourselves. Jesus underscored the fact that His disciples were to live outflowingly rather than selfishly. To the rich young ruler He said, “If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven” (Matthew 19:21). It wasn’t the giving away of his goods that Jesus demanded, particularly, but that he be released from selfishness, and its devastating effect on his personality and life.
|7/7/2023||Our Many Blessings…|
Yea, the Lord shall give that which is good; and our land shall yield her increase.
The great economic and material prosperity we are enjoying in the United States today is a gift of God’s hand. The Bible tells us that the very goodness of God should lead us to repentance. All of these material blessings are gifts from God, given in order that we might humble ourselves, fall upon our knees before Him, and call upon His name. We should thank God, too, for the spiritual blessings that are beyond the power of the human tongue to describe.
Here in North America we still have freedom of worship. In many parts of the world believers cannot assemble together; they cannot speak of their religious convictions because of totalitarian power. Here in North America we have Bibles everywhere. We have the opportunity to preach. God has blessed us with a thousand and one spiritual blessings. In days of uncertainty and confusion, such as we are now passing through, these are gifts that go beyond our power to understand; and yet they are gifts of God that become ours when we receive His Son as our Savior and Lord.
|7/6/2023||The Peace of Jesus…|
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
The peace that Jesus came to bring was not the peace of appeasement, or the peace of compromise and conformity. It was a spiritual peace. The world doesn’t give peace, for it doesn’t have any peace to give. It fights for peace, it negotiates for peace, it maneuvers for peace, but there is no ultimate peace in the world. But Jesus gives peace to those who put their trust in Him. If you have received His peace, then you are in His camp. But if you have rejected it, then you are against Him. His peace is available to everyone who will receive it.
|7/5/2023||A Clear Message…|
The law of the Lord is perfect.
The Bible is the constitution of Christianity. Just as the United States Constitution is not of any private interpretation, neither is the Bible of any private interpretation. Just as the Constitution includes all who live under its stated domain, without exception, so the Bible includes all who live under its stated domain, without exception. God’s laws for the spiritual world are found in the Bible. Whatever else there may be that tells us of God, it is more clearly told in the Bible. Nature in her laws tells us of God, but the message is not too clear. It tells us nothing of the love and grace of God. Conscience, in our inmost being, does tell us of God, but the message is fragmentary. The only place we can find a clear, unmistakable message is in the Word of God, which we call the Bible.
Fear God and honor the government.
1 Peter 2:17
On this Independence Day we should be on our knees thanking God for all He has given us. The United States is a country in which everyone has an equal opportunity. Thank God for a country where there is no caste or class to keep a man from going to the top. If a man has a will to work and study, he can go ahead regardless of his background. In addition, thank God, He has given us freedom of religion. Whatever you may believe, no one can close your church because your religion does not coincide with his. A few people meeting in a small, out-of-the-way shack, worshiping God as they believe in Him, have the same right to religious freedom as the people who worship God in the great cathedrals on the avenues of our greatest cities.
|7/3/2023||The Highest Law…|
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable . . .
2 Timothy 3:16
The men who framed our Constitution knew they were writing the basic document for a government of free men; they recognized that men could live as free and independent beings only if each one knew and understood the law. They were to know their rights, their privileges, and their limitations. They were to stand as equals before the court of law, and few judges could be unfair; for the judge, too, was bound by the same law and required to try each case accordingly. . . . As the Constitution is the highest law of the land, so the Bible is the highest law of God. For it is in the Bible that God sets forth His spiritual laws. It is in the Bible that God makes His enduring promises. It is in the Bible that God reveals the plan of redemption for the human race.
Love one another, as I have loved you.
As I study the subject of “separation” in the Old and New Testaments, I discover that the weight of Scripture lies in the direction of fellowship rather than separation. What is the great overwhelming evidence that we have passed from death unto life? It is love! Jesus Christ clearly was speaking of visible unity, such as can be seen by the world. His motive for praying was that the world might believe and the world might know. He prayed for unity among believers. God, who wills man’s unity in Christ, is a God of variety. So often we want everyone to be the same—to think and speak and believe as we do. Many Scripture passages could be called to witness that love is the real key to Christian unity. In the spirit of true humility, compassion, consideration, and unselfishness, we are to approach our problems, our work, and even our differences.
|7/1/2023||A Global Best-Seller…|
His every word is a treasure of knowledge and understanding.
It is small wonder . . . the Bible has always been the world’s best-seller! No other book can touch its profound wisdom, its poetic beauty, or the accuracy of its history and prophecy. Its critics who claimed it to be filled with forgery, fiction, and unfulfilled promises are finding that the difficulties lie with themselves, and not the Bible. Greater and more careful scholarship has shown that apparent contradictions were caused by incorrect translations, rather than divine inconsistencies. It was man and not the Bible that needed correcting. And yet—in many homes and among so-called educated people—it has become fashionable to joke about the Bible and to regard it more as a dust-catcher than as the living Word of God. . . . Too many families have used the Bible as a safe storage place for old letters and pressed flowers, and have overlooked entirely the help and assurance that God intended this Book to give them.
|6/30/2023||Prayer Is a Conversation…|
And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
Prayer is a two-way conversation; it is our talking to God, and His talking to us. As a Christian, you have a heavenly Father who hears and answers prayer. Jesus said, “All things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.” Every man or woman whose life has counted for the church and the Kingdom of God has been a person of prayer. You cannot afford to be too busy to pray. A prayerless Christian is a powerless Christian. Jesus Christ spent many hours in prayer. Sometimes He spent the night on a mountaintop in solitary communion with God the Father. If He felt that He had to pray, how much more do we need to pray!
|6/29/2023||The Hands of Jesus…|
I was hungry, and you gave me food.
During the war a church in Strasburg, Germany, was totally destroyed; but a statue of Christ which stood by the altar was almost unharmed. Only the hands of the statue were missing. When the church was rebuilt, a famous sculptor offered to make new hands; but, after considering the matter, the members decided to let it stand as it was—without hands. “For,” they said, “Christ has no hands but our hands to do His work on earth. If we don’t feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, entertain the stranger, visit the imprisoned, and clothe the naked, who will?” Christ is depending on us to do the very things which He did while upon earth. My friend, if the gospel we preach does not have a social application, if it will not work effectively in the work-a-day world, then it is not the Gospel of Christ.
And when he was in affliction, he besought the Lord his God, and humbled himself.
2 Chronicles 33:12
Why do Christians suffer? Rest assured that there is a reason for Christian people being afflicted. One reason why God’s people suffer, according to the Bible, is that it is a disciplinary, chastening, and molding process. From the Scriptures we learn that the chastening of affliction is a step in the process of our full and complete development. Affliction can also be a means of refining and of purification. Many a life has come forth from the furnace of affliction more beautiful and more useful than before.
|6/27/2023||Who Am I?|
What a glorious Lord! He who daily bears our burdens also gives us our salvation.
Edward Dahlberg, the writer, observed, “At 19, I was a stranger to myself. At 40, I asked, ‘Who am I?’ At 50, I concluded I would never know.” This unexplored personal wilderness is the home of millions of people. Ninety-two percent of all Canadian university students, according to June Callwood, the Toronto sociologist, don’t really know who they are. The Bible says that man is an immortal soul. When God made man in the first place, He created him and “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Genesis 2:7). One’s soul is the essence, the core, the eternal and real person. And he will be restless until he opens his life to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
|6/26/2023||Energy Under Control…|
You are controlled by your new nature if you have the Spirit of God living in you.
A harnessed horse contributes much more to life than a wild donkey. Energy out of control is dangerous; energy under control is powerful. God does not discipline us to subdue us, but to condition us for a life of usefulness and blessedness. In His wisdom He knows that an uncontrolled life is an unhappy life, so He puts reins on our wayward souls that they may be directed into the “paths of righteousness.” That is what God seeks to do with us; to tame us, to bring us under proper control, to redirect our energies. He does in the spiritual realm what science does in the physical realm. Science takes a Niagara River with its violent turbulence and transforms it into electrical energy to illuminate a million homes and to turn the productive wheels of industry.
And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward . . .
It is not wrong for men to possess riches. But the Bible warns that money cannot buy happiness! Money cannot buy true pleasure. Money cannot buy peace of heart. And money certainly cannot buy entrance into the Kingdom of God. Often money is a hindrance to these things. Money takes our minds off God. Riches, when used selfishly rather than for the glory of God, tend to corrupt in our hands. Money cannot be a substitute for God. If God has given you more wealth than your neighbors, dedicate it to Christ. Realize that you are only a steward of that which God has given you and some day you will have to give an account of every penny you have spent. The Internal Revenue Service wants a record of how you spend your money, but that is nothing compared to the books God is keeping.
|6/24/2023||An Angry World…|
The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
The world, in the last few years, has reverted to a sort of barbarism. As practical Christianity has declined, rudeness and violence have increased. Neighbors quarrel with neighbors. Fighting is a major problem in our schools and the “gang wars” of the teenagers have come to present a serious menace in our cities. Fathers and mothers wrangle and bicker. Homes are disintegrating. High government officials in Washington engage in name-calling and in heated disputes not at all in keeping with the dignity of their office. Why and how has all this savagery crept into our social life? It is because we have forgotten Jesus’ words, “Happy are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth.” I have seen tough, rough, hardened men open their hearts by faith, receive Christ as Savior, and become gentle, patient, merciful gentlemen.
|6/23/2023||Educating the Mind But Not the Soul…|
God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it.
You can put a public school and university in the middle of every block of every city in America—but you will never keep America from rotting morally by mere intellectual education. Education cannot be properly called education which neglects the most important parts of man’s nature. Partial education throughout the world is far worse than none at all if we educate the mind but not the soul. To think of civilizing men without converting them to Christ is about as wise as to think about transforming wolves into lambs merely by washing them and putting on them a fleece of wool. “Happy are the merciful; for they shall obtain mercy.” The mercy the world needs is the grace, love, and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is His transforming and regenerating power that the world needs more than anything else.
|6/22/2023||The Most Unique Person…|
Worthy is the Lamb . . . to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing.
H.G. Wells wrote, “Christ is the most unique person of history. No man can write a history of the human race without giving first and foremost place to the penniless teacher of Nazareth.” Rabbi Stephen Wise said concerning Jesus, “You will find that He is divinely human. It is no mean joy to us of the house of Israel to recognize, to honor and to cherish among our brethren, Jesus the Jew, who has influenced the world more than any other man.” This person called Jesus lived on earth for only 33 years. He never traveled more than 100 miles from His home. Yet Charles Lamb was right in saying, “If all the illustrious men of history were gathered together and Shakespeare should enter their presence, they would rise to do him honor; but if Jesus Christ should come in, they would fall down and worship Him.”
|6/21/2023||Tears of Repentance…|
Now change your mind and attitude to God and turn to him so he can cleanse away your sins and send you wonderful times of refreshment from the presence of the Lord.
There is a certain amount of sorrow involved in repentance that we don’t see much of today. That word means moaning and even groaning. I don’t mean that we have to have a great emotional experience, but I do believe that we need some tears of repentance. We need to be sorry for our sins, and to say, “Oh, God, I have sinned against You, and I’m sorry.” I am not an emotional person. I don’t know why, but I don’t cry easily. But of the few times I have cried in my life, some of them have been over sin that I committed many years ago.
The night I came to Christ, I didn’t have any tears. But later I went home and I looked out my window at the North Carolina sky and I cried over my sins. I said, “Oh, God, forgive me.” And the most wonderful peace swept over my soul. From that moment on, I’ve known that my sins were forgiven.
|6/20/2023||Forgiveness in Marriage…|
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9
It is unfortunate in a marriage if there is an array of sordid memories of past sins on the part of either partner. If young people could only realize that a happy marriage depends not only on the present, but upon the past, they would be more reluctant to enter into loose, intimate relations with anyone and everyone. Many a marriage has been imperiled by the backlash of past sins, which were not just confessed, but “found out.”
As to the necessity of confessing past sins to one’s mate, I don’t think it is always advisable or necessary. I have known of homes that were wrecked by such confessions. The main thing is to confess any past wrongs to God, resolve to be true to your marriage vows; and absolve the black past by a spotless present.
|6/19/2023||Distance Makes the Heart Grow Fonder…|
. . . set your sights on the rich treasures and joys of heaven . . .
Have you ever been separated from someone you love? A boyfriend or girlfriend whom you have not seen in three or four months? Wait until you see each other! My wife and I have said goodbyes to each other; but when we met again, it was a honeymoon all over again. And that is what it will be like on that glorious day when Jesus Christ comes. We will be caught up in the air to meet Him, and it will be like two lovers coming together. What hope we have!
|6/18/2023||Comfort in Mourning…|
What a wonderful God we have . . . who so wonderfully comforts and strengthens us.
2 Corinthians 1:3,4
The Bible teaches unmistakably that we can triumph over bereavement. The Psalmist said, “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” Self-pity can bring no enduring comfort. The fact is, it will only add to your misery. And unremitting grief will give you little consolation in itself, for grief begets grief. Sorrow, or mourning, when it is borne in a Christian way, contains a built-in comfort. “Happy are they that mourn; for they shall be comforted.” There is comfort in mourning, because we know that Christ is with us. He has said, “Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” Suffering is endurable if we do not have to bear it alone; and the more compassionate the Presence, the less acute the pain.
Those who still reject me are like the restless sea. . . . There is no peace, says my God, for them!
Faith has legs . . . I heard about a man some years ago who was rolling a wheelbarrow back and forth on a tightrope across Niagara River. Thousands of people were shouting him on. He put a 200-pound sack of dirt in the wheelbarrow and rolled it over, and then he rolled it back. He turned to the crowd and asked, “How many of you believe that I can roll a man across?” Everybody shouted! One man in the front row was very excited in his professed belief. The man pointed to this excited professor and said, “You’re next!” You couldn’t see that man for dust! He didn’t actually believe it. He thought he believed it—but he was not willing to get in the wheelbarrow. Just so with Christ. Many people say they believe in Him, they say they follow Him. But they never have stepped into the wheelbarrow. They actually never have committed and surrendered themselves wholly, 100 percent to Christ.
Open my eyes to see wonderful things in your Word.
Some, who doubt that the Bible is the true Word of God, doubt it because they are unwilling to ascribe to God anything they cannot themselves achieve. If you have any uncertainty about the inspiration of the Bible, go back and look at it again. Look at it in the light of a person who has been staring at a mud puddle all his life, and who is confronted for the first time by a view of the ocean!
Perhaps you are only now catching your first glimpse of God’s unlimited power. Perhaps you are only now beginning to understand Him for what He actually is. For if God is the Spirit that Jesus declares Him to be, there is no problem of providence, there is no problem of His sovereignty in the affairs of men, there is no problem of His inspiration of the men who wrote the Bible. Everything fits into place, once you understand who and what God really is.
|6/15/2023||Practice Good Stewardship…|
Redeeming the time…
We are stewards of our time. God has given each one of us a little “chunk of eternity” called time. These golden moments of opportunity are doled out to us for our benefit and for God’s glory. If we use them wisely, they are woven by God’s omnipotent hand into the fabric of eternity. Henry Thoreau cautioned, “You cannot kill time without injuring eternity.” “He who has no vision of eternity,” said Carlyle, “has no hold on time.” “Only one life, ’twill soon be past; only what’s done for Christ will last” is the sentiment of every man who desires to be a good steward of his time. We are entrusted with a small portion of the capital of time. If we invest it wisely, it will pay dividends throughout eternity.
|7/14/2023||Thou art The Lord…The Christ…The Son Of God…|
…for they have rejected the word of the Lord…
The Apostle Paul once asked, “Who art thou, Lord?” That is a question each of us has to face. If Jesus claimed to be the Son of God, knowing He was not, then He was a deceiver, the greatest liar the world has ever known. If He thought He was God and didn’t know the difference, then He was a mental case. But if He was who He claimed to be, then He is rightfully the Lord of our lives. What keeps us from acknowledging this Christ, if He is what the Bible tells us He is?
Each of us has to face the question that Pilate asked, “What shall I do then with Jesus which is called the Christ?” Pilate washed his hands and said he would have nothing to do with Jesus, but God does not let us off that way. We must say “yes” or “no.” We can make fun of Jesus, we can reject Him, we can neglect Him—or we can receive Him.
|6/13/2023||Believe in the Holy Spirit…|
I have raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee.
Walter Knight tells the story about a little boy who had recently received Christ. “Daddy, how can I believe in the Holy Spirit when I have never seen Him?” asked Jim. “I’ll show you how,” said his father, who was an electrician. Later Jim went with his father to the power plant where he was shown the generators. “This is where the power comes from to heat our stove and to give us light. We cannot see the power, but it is in that machine and in the power lines,” said the father. “I believe in electricity,” said Jim. “Of course you do,” said his father, “but you don’t believe in it because you see it. You believe in it because you see what it can do. Likewise, you can believe in the Holy Spirit because you can see what He does in people’s lives when they are surrendered to Christ and possess His power.”
|6/12/2023||The Wisdom of God…|
Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
To know the will of God is the highest of all wisdom. Living in the center of God’s will rules out all falseness of religion and puts the stamp of true sincerity upon our service to God. You can be miserable with much, if you are out of His will; but you can have peace in your heart with little, if you are in the will of God. You can be wretched with wealth and fame, out of His will; but you can have joy in obscurity, if you are in the will of God. You can have agony in good health, out of His will; but you can be happy in the midst of suffering, if you are in God’s will. You can be miserable and defeated in the midst of acclaim, if you are out of His will; but you can be calm and at peace in the midst of persecution, as long as you are in the will of God. The Bible reveals that God has a plan for every life, and that if we live in constant fellowship with Him, He will direct and lead us in the fulfillment of this plan.
|6/11/2023||We Are God’s Children…|
Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the children of God.
1 John 3:1
As God’s children, we are His dependents. The Bible says, “Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear Him.” Dependent children spend little time worrying about meals, clothing, and shelter. They assume, and they have a right to, that all will be provided by their parents. Because God is responsible for our welfare, we are told to cast all our care upon Him, for He careth for us.
Because we are dependent upon God, Jesus said, “Let not your heart be troubled.” God says, “I’ll take care of the burden—don’t give it a thought—leave it to me.” Dependent children are not backward about asking for favors. They would not be normal if they did not boldly make their needs known. God is keenly aware that we are dependent upon Him for life’s necessities. It was for that reason that He said, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”
|6/10/2023||His Love Is Obvious…|
This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.
1 John 4:9
Notice God’s love. The Bible teaches that God is love. You and I were sinners. We were aliens from God. We were enemies of God. We had rebelled against God. We deserved hell, but in spite of the fact that we resisted God, we rebelled against God, we sinned against God, we were enemies of God—the Bible says God loved us anyway with an everlasting love so that He was willing to give His Son to die on the cross for our sins. There is not a person who has the ability to love that way unless he comes to Christ. You don’t have the power to love.
|6/9/2023||Gladness on Sunday…|
I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.
A lot of people get what I call “Sunday-itis” on Sunday mornings. Do you know what Sunday-itis is? It attacks the victim shortly before breakfast on Sunday morning. It is accompanied by a feeling of weakness and lethargy. Sometimes the victim has a slight headache which is aggravated by the ringing of the church bells in the community. But the disease is of short duration, usually disappearing about noon, when the victim is able to eat a full dinner and play golf in the afternoon. But the symptoms usually appear again about 7:30 Sunday evening, and then disappear until the next Sunday morning.
|6/8/2023||Courage to Stand…|
It is no shame to suffer for being a Christian. Praise God for the privilege of being in Christ’s family and being called by
his wonderful name!
1 Peter 4:16
A great problem in America is that we have an anemic and watered-down Christianity that has produced an anemic, watered-down, and spineless Christian who is not willing to stand up and be counted on every issue. We must have a virile, dynamic, aggressive Christian who lives Christ seven days a week, who is ready to die, if necessary, for his faith. We need Christians who are ethical, honest, gracious, bold, strong, and devoted followers of the Lord Jesus Christ.
For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son…
The word “reconcile” means literally “bring into a changed relationship.” It means to bring together two parties who should have been together all along. The Bible speaks of the human race as enemies of God. You may say that you are no “enemy” of God, but according to Scripture we are either passive or active enemies of God, apart from Christ. Reconciliation means “brought back into full relationship and fellowship with God.” This is what Christ accomplished on the cross. What a thrilling thought!
|6/6/2023||His Best for You…|
Do the good things that result from being saved, obeying God.
It takes no poll for those of us who have communicated with young people to know the devastation that permissive sexual activity generally causes. It becomes a cancer in the bodies and minds and characters of those who indulge, almost without exception. And there are other victims, such innocent bystanders as parents, grandparents, old family friends, teachers, and advisers, all much more concerned than you can understand. They want only the best for you. Anything less than a happy marital voyage gives them pain. The wisdom of their years says that premarital relations are always a mistake.
The Bible teaches that God created sex. He made “male and female.” Then it says, “God saw every thing that He had made, and behold, it was very good.” This included the natural sexual attraction between the man and woman He had created. Therefore, sex is not sin! It is God’s gift to the human race. It is for procreation; for enjoyment within the bonds of matrimony; for the fulfillment of married love.
|6/5/2023||Light and Shadow…|
Stand steady, and don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Bring others to Christ . . .
2 Timothy 4:5
All the masterpieces of art contain both light and shadow. A happy life is one filled not only with sunshine, but one which uses both light and shadow to produce beauty. The greatest musicians, as a rule, are those who know how to bring song out of sadness. Fanny Crosby, her spirit aglow with faith in Christ, saw more with her sightless eyes than most of us do with normal vision. She has given us some of the great gospel songs which cheer our hearts and lives. In a rat-infested jail in Philippi, Paul and Silas sang their song of praise at midnight to the accompaniment of the jailer’s whip. But their patience in suffering and persecution led to the heathen warden’s conviction.
|6/4/2023||Salvation Through Trust…|
Thus did Noah according to all that God commanded him . . .
One day God spoke to Noah about the wickedness of the human race. The actions of men and women grieved Him to the heart. God said that He intended to send a flood that would destroy mankind, and He told Noah to build an ark to save his household and the animals. The Bible says that Noah believed God. Now Noah had never seen a flood. He had never seen a 40-day rain. He had no weather map, no satellite photograph or meteorologist to tell him that a big storm was coming. All he had to go on was the Word of God. But when the flood came, Noah was spared and saved with his family, and the rest of the generation was swept away. Noah was saved because he put his trust in God. The days of Noah are returning to earth, and a catastrophe as great as the flood awaits those who refuse to enter into the ark of salvation, which is Jesus Christ.
Real life and real living are not related to how rich we are.
There are two ways of being rich—have a lot, or want very little. The latter way is the easier for most of us. Many people make themselves miserable by wanting more than they can ever have. They suffer from “thing-itis,” the insatiable desire for more, better, and newer things. Jesus was the most satisfied man that ever lived, and He had less than most of us. “The foxes have their holes, and the birds their nests, but the Son of man has no place to lay His head.” He had learned the secret of adjusting His wants to His needs.
E. Stanley Jones tells about a poor man who had an overnight guest, and as he showed him to his humble bedroom in the hayloft, he said, “If there is anything you want, let us know, and we’ll come and show you how to get along without it.” We don’t need to learn how to get more, but how to get along with what we’ve got, and get on with the business of living.
If we are living now by the Holy Spirit’s power, let us follow the Holy Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.
When Bill Borden, son of the wealthy Bordens, went out to China as a missionary, many of his friends thought he was foolish to “waste his life,” as they put it, trying to convert a few heathens to Christianity. But Bill loved Christ and he loved men! He hadn’t been out there very long before he contracted an oriental disease and died. At his bedside they found a note that he had written while he was dying. It read, “No reserve, no retreat, and no regrets.” Bill had found more happiness in his few years of sacrificial service than most people find in a lifetime.
|6/1/2023||Where Your Hope Is…|
This certain hope of being saved is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls, connecting us with God himself . . .
What are you placing your hope in for the future? Your country’s government, educational system, some plan or organization? My hope is in a Person, the Lord Jesus Christ, who sits at the right hand of God. I have hope and know that I’m going to heaven. And, right here and now in this present life, I have God’s presence to help me.
Suppose we had no Bible. Suppose there were no cross, no salvation, no empty tomb. Suppose we had nothing to hang on except, “Do your best, try to patch it up, do what you can.” Oh, but we have a hope. There is a plan of redemption, a plan for the future. The New Testament is an exciting Book to read, it is so full of hope and expectancy. And God is interested in you!
|5/31/2023||Need for Inner Change…|
Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
2 Corinthians 5:17
The world says that all we need to do is be decent, respectable, and reasonable. True, that is all one needs to do to be a member of the Great Society, but to be a member of the Kingdom of God, there must be an inner change. A Communist in Hyde Park, London, pointed to a tramp and said, “Communism will put a new suit on that man.” A Christian standing nearby said, “Yes, but Christ will put a new man in that suit!”
|5/30/2023||Salvation Is Free…|
Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
Salvation is free! God puts no price tag on the Gift of gifts—it’s free! Preachers are not salesmen, for they have nothing to sell. They are bearers of Good News—the good tidings that “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3). Money can’t buy it. Man’s righteousness can’t earn it. Social prestige can’t help you acquire it. Morality can’t purchase it. It is, as Isaiah said, “without money and without price.”
God is not a bargaining God. You cannot barter with Him. You must do business with Him on His own terms. He holds in His omnipotent hand the priceless, precious, eternal gift of salvation, and He bids you to take it without money and without price. The best things in life are free, are they not? The air we breathe is not sold by the cubic foot. The water which flows crystal clear from the mountain stream is free for the taking. Love is free, faith is free, hope is free.
|5/29/2023||Keep Moving Forward…|
For in him we live and move and are!
When I was seven years old, my father bought me my first bicycle. I had never ridden one. Patiently, my family and friends tried to teach me the art of cycling. I soon found out there was one thing I must do if I was to stay on the bicycle—keep moving forward. If I ceased to go forward, I would fall and hurt myself. So it is in the Christian life. We can never live this life on the highest plane unless we are continually growing and moving forward. You should be closer to God today in heart, soul, and body, than at any other time so far in your life.
|5/28/2023||Invest Your Talents…|
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above . . .
God, in His mercy and goodness, has endowed every man with certain gifts, talents, and capabilities. These are not to be used selfishly for our own profit, but for the glory of God and for the building of His kingdom. Our personalities, our intelligence, and our capabilities are gifts from His own bountiful hand. If we divert their use for our own profit, we become guilty of selfishness.
It is good business for an employee or junior partner in the firm to work for the profit and interest and glory of the owner. When the owner profits, all members of the firm profit. So, as stewards of our talents, we should invest them for the glory, praise, and honor of God. If God is glorified, we as His partners will be blessed. Our voices, our service, and our abilities are to be employed, primarily, for the glory of God.
|5/27/2023||A Sacred Institution…|
Follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.
The home is basically a sacred institution. The perfect marriage is the uniting of three persons—a man and a woman and God. This is what makes marriage holy. Faith in Christ is the most important of all principles in the building of a happy marriage and a successful home. The secret strength of a nation is found in the faith that abides in the hearts and homes of the country.
|5/26/2023||Jesus Is Matchless…|
You have your life through Christ Jesus. He showed us God’s plan of salvation; he was the one who made us acceptable to God . . .
1 Corinthians 1:30
More and more I am becoming aware of the truth that people change people as much as ideas change people. The power of personality is strong. One could find many illustrations to prove that often personality is greater than the idea. Such is the case with Christianity. The secret of the power of Christianity is not in its ethics. It is not in Christian ideas or philosophy, although Christianity has a philosophical set of ideas. The secret of Christianity is found in a Person, and that Person is the Lord Jesus Christ. Men have discovered other philosophical and ethical systems, but they have not found another Jesus Christ. No one in history can match Him.
|5/25/2023||His Indwelling Presence…|
. . . to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.
To appreciate art, one must either be born with an artistic sense or develop it by training. Only a relatively few people have an innate sense of color, form, and harmony. To such, a love for art comes naturally. Without an artistic appreciation in one’s soul, visiting an art gallery can be a boring affair. Likewise, to appreciate good music one must have music “in him” or develop it. Without a sense of music appreciation, it is possible to sleep through a symphony concert or a performance of the Metropolitan Opera. So it is with the things of God.
Talk about God can become dreary and lackluster if God isn’t in you. Church can become a drab thing and the Bible an irksome Book if the Holy Spirit does not illuminate your soul with His indwelling presence. The wonderful thing about it all is that God has planned life so that if our hearts are dead to spiritual things, something can be done about it.
|5/24/2023||Count Your Blessings…|
. . . when troubles come . . . sing his praises with much joy.
Christians are not altogether immune from depression. The fact is: the trend of events and the mounting tide of evil are enough to give one sobering thoughts—Christian or not. David, the sweet singer of Israel, was not always on top of his depression. Sometimes his glad song was turned to a depressive mourning. “My tears have been my meat day and night, while continually they say unto me, Where is thy God? Why art thou cast down, O my soul, and why art thou disquieted in me?” I find that the cure for depression is praise. In other words: be so busy counting your blessings, that thoughts of gloom and despair will be crowded out.
|5/23/2023||An Answer to Problems…|
. . . Thou shalt love the Lord thy God. . . . Thou shalt love thy neighbor . . .
Here is the answer to the world’s problems today—”Thou shalt love the Lord thy God” and “Thou shalt love thy fellowman.” That teaching is not out of date; it is absolutely relevant today. It is the only way in which the problems of the world today can be solved, whether the problems are those of individuals or of nations. If we love God with all our heart, we will have capacity to love our neighbors. True love will find an outlet in service—not merely in singing hymns, attending church, or even in praying—but in trying our utmost to prove our love, by obeying the will of our heavenly Father.
|5/22/2023||God Made Us Unique…|
Our soul waiteth for the Lord . . .
I am a soul—and I have a body! The body is the house in which the soul lives. When Oliver Wendell Holmes was in his 80th year, a friend hailed him and asked, “How are you?” “I’m fine,” said Holmes, “the house I live in is tottering and crumbling, but Oliver Wendell Holmes is fine, thank you.” In this materialistic age we often forget that the real, the abiding part of us is invisible. Much time, money, and effort are expended to perpetuate the physical part of us, and too many are unconcerned about their spiritual health and nurture. Hence doctors’ offices are overcrowded, and many ministers’ counseling rooms are empty.
When God created man, He made him distinctive, different from the other animals. “He breathed into him the breath of life and man became a living soul.” He clothed him with intelligence, conscience, and a will. He made him like Himself—a companion, a friend of God. At the resurrection, this mortal shall put on immortality, and we shall be like Him, and be with Him forever.
|5/21/2023||Jesus Is Transcendent…|
Come to Christ, who is the living Foundation of Rock upon which God builds; though men have spurned him, he is very precious to God who has chosen him above all others.
1 Peter 2:4
No personality in history stands above Jesus Christ. Agnostics and atheists have found fault with Christian ideas, but they can never find fault with the Person of Jesus Christ. They have found fault with Christians, but not with Christ. Jesus of Nazareth transcends methods, ideas, and followers. He stands at the turning point of time. Men everywhere must bow to His superiority. Since Christianity is Christ, those who wish to be a Christian must accept and follow Him as a Person. He and He alone is able to meet every need of the human race.
. . . greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
1 John 4:4
Paul once wrote, “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary the one to the other; so that ye can not do the things that ye would” (Galatians 5:17). This is the battle or the tension that is present in us to a greater or lesser degree. So, you see, the spiritual lag that you feel is explained in the Bible. That does not mean that you accept it as the way it should be. You should make all necessary preparations for this battle which the Bible says “is not against flesh and blood, but against spiritual forces.”
In Ephesians 6 we read that the Bible tells what preparation you should make. In the meantime, always remember that “where sin abounds, grace did much more abound.” You can have complete victory! We are told to submit ourselves unto God, and the devil will flee from us. We are also promised that “sin shall not reign over us.”
|5/19/2023||Commitment and Purpose…|
. . . serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope . . .
Each generation becomes more addicted to the sedatives of life, to dull the pain of living. Oppressed by a sense of triviality and thwarted purpose, men find no great goal or commitment to draw them, and no inner stimulation to give meaning to their existence. Christ can save you from the bane of boredom. He waits to give you a fresh sense of direction and to take dissatisfaction out of your life. I talked recently with a man in my own community who was converted to faith in Christ. “I hadn’t known what to do with my leisure time,” he told me, “but now I have a sense of commitment and purpose that I never knew before.”
. . . Let us stop just saying we love people; let us really love them, and show it by our actions.
1 John 3:18
The Bible declares that we who follow Christ should be just as much in love with each other as God was in love with us when He sent His Son to die on the cross. The moment we come to Christ, Scripture says, God gives us supernatural love that is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. The greatest demonstration of the fact that we are Christians is that we love one another. Why not go out of our way to be a friend to someone whose skin is a different color from ours? Love does more to solve our problems than anything else does. Of all the gifts God offers His children, love is the greatest. Of all the fruits of the Holy Spirit, love is the first.
|5/17/2023||Faith Produces Works…|
. . . doing service as to the Lord . . .
A true sacrament is not a mere creed, or ordinance, or form, but it is a life of service to God and to man. The most eloquent prayer is the prayer through hands that heal and bless. The highest form of worship is the worship of unselfish Christian service. The greatest form of praise is the sound of consecrated feet seeking out the lost and helpless.
There must be a practical outworking of our faith here in this present world, or it will never endure the world to come. The Pharisees majored on show but minored on service. We need fewer words and more charitable works; less palaver and more pity; less repetition of creed and more compassion.
|5/16/2023||Mindful of the Leading of God…|
Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
When God gave the law, He knew that man was incapable of keeping it. Many persons are confused as to why God gave the law, if He knew man could not possibly keep it. The Bible teaches that the law was given as a mirror; I look into the law and see my spiritual condition. I see how far short I come, and this drives me to the cross of Christ for forgiveness. The Bible teaches that this is why Christ came—to redeem them that were under the law. Man could not keep the law; he was condemned by the law.
|5/15/2023||Love Despite Ourselves…|
. . . all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags . . .
The Bible teaches that all our righteousness—falling short of the divine standard as it does—is as filthy rags in the sight of God. There is absolutely no possibility of our manufacturing a righteousness, holiness, or goodness that will satisfy God. Even the best of us is impure to God. I remember one day when my wife was doing the washing. The clothes looked white and clean in the house, but when she hung them on the line they appeared soiled and dirty, in contrast to the fresh-fallen snow.
Our own lives may seem at times to be morally good and decent; but in comparison to the holiness and the purity of God, we are defiled and filthy. In spite of our sins and moral uncleanness, God loves us. He decided to provide a righteousness for us. That is the reason that He gave His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross.
|5/14/2023||Live Creatively for Christ…|
Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love . . .
Living creatively for Christ in the home is the acid test for any Christian man or woman. It is far easier to live an excellent life among your friends, when you are putting your best foot forward and are conscious of public opinion, than it is to live for Christ in your home. Your own family circle knows whether Christ lives in you and through you. If you are a true Christian, you will not give way at home to bad temper, impatience, fault-finding, sarcasm, unkindness, suspicion, selfishness, or laziness. Instead, you will reveal through your daily life the fruit of the Spirit, which is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, and all the other Christian virtues which round out a Christ-like personality.
Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.
He (the Spirit) will never lead you contrary to the Word of God. I hear people saying, “The Lord led me to do this. … The Lord told me thus and so …” I am always a little suspicious unless what the Lord has said is in keeping with His Word. God never directs us to do anything contrary to His Word. The prophet Samuel once said, “Obedience is better than sacrifice.”
The Scripture teaches, “He that willeth to do His will shall know the doctrine.” When you find yourself up a blind alley, not knowing which way to turn, if you are willing to do His will, He will reveal Himself. He conceals His will only from those who, before they consent to do His bidding, seek to know what He is going to say. Be an obedient Christian. Remember that “where God guides, He provides. Where He leads, He supplies all needs!”
|5/12/2023||He Changes Us…|
. . . that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel.
The word “mystery” means beyond human knowledge or understanding. God’s mysteries baffle the unbelieving, but bless the believer. The mystery of righteousness, like some of the other great mysteries of God, we cannot comprehend, but we know it works. We stand amazed at this great mystery which enables God to change the human heart, its attitudes, its desires, and its nature.
God, a holy God, who loves righteousness and hates wickedness, through a process of redemption has refashioned us in the image of Himself. How marvelous! For generations He has been applying His righteousness to the hearts of men. Even in our time, with its complexities of living, God is in the business of changing men and women by the mystery of righteousness.
|5/11/2023||The Need for Wisdom…|
Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
Time is running out. The seconds are ticking away toward midnight. The human race is about to take the fatal plunge. Which way shall we turn? Is there any authority left? Is there a path we can follow? Can we find a code book that will give us the key to our dilemmas? Is there any source of authority to which we can turn? Have we just been placed here by some unknown creator or force without any clue as to where we came from, why we are here, and where we are going?
The answer is “no.” We do have a code book. We do have a key. We do have authoritative source material. It is found in the ancient and historic Book we call the Bible. This Book has come down to us through the ages. It has passed through so many hands, appeared in so many forms-and survived attack of every kind. Neither barbaric vandalism nor civilized scholarship has touched it. Neither the burning of fire nor the laughter of skepticism has accomplished its annihilation. Through the many dark ages of man its glorious promises have survived unchanged.
|5/10/2023||The Purpose of God for You…|
Everything comes from God alone. Everything lives by his power, and everything is for his glory. To him be glory evermore.
Have you ever wondered why God placed us on this planet? What our purpose is in being here? It is because God is love. There may be life on other planets, but I believe man is unique in the sense that he was created in the image of God. God created on this planet as it were “little gods” whom He could love and who would return love to Him. Reverently speaking, God was lonely. He wanted someone to love and who would return love to Him. That sounds incredible, but the Bible tells us that God loved, and so He created and put us on this planet.
|5/9/2023||New Heaven…New Earth…|
The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.
Christianity is a Gospel of crisis. It proclaims unmistakably that this world’s days are numbered. Every graveyard and every cemetery testify that the Bible is true. Our days on this planet are numbered. The Apostle James says that life is only a vapor that appears for a moment and then vanishes (James 4:14). The prophet Isaiah says that our life is like the grass that withers and the flower that fades (Isaiah 40:6,7).
There is no doubt that nations also come to an end when they have ceased to fulfill the function that God meant for them. The end will come with the return of Jesus Christ. He will set up a kingdom of righteousness and social justice where hatred, greed, jealousy, and death will no longer be known. That is why a Christian can be an optimist. That is why a Christian can smile in the midst of all that is happening. We know what will come. We know what the end will be: the triumph of the Lord Jesus Christ!
|5/8/2023||The Influence of a Mother…|
Her children arise up, and call her blessed…
Only God Himself fully appreciates the influence of a Christian mother in the molding of character in her children. Someone has said, “Like mother, like children.” Most of the noble characters and fine leaders of history have had good, God-fearing mothers. We are told that George Washington’s mother was pious, and that Sir Walter Scott’s mother was a lover of poetry and music. On the other hand, we are told that Nero’s mother was a murderess and that the dissolute Lord Byron’s mother was a proud and violent woman. The influence of a mother upon the lives of her children cannot be measured. They know and absorb her example and attitudes when it comes to questions of honesty, temperance, kindness, and industry.
|5/7/2023||Truth Brings Freedom…|
If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
The mark of a true Christian is found in his personal relationship to the Person of Jesus Christ. Christianity is Christ. Christ is Christianity. I speak reverently when I say that Jesus is more than His ideas. All that He said was true, but without Him even the truth would have been powerless. Men know the power of truth, and truth is that which sets men free. Jesus said, “I am the truth.”
|5/6/2023||Seek God For Yourself…|
Know ye that the Lord he is God; it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves . . .
Whenever anyone asks me how I can be so certain about who and what God really is, I am reminded of the story of the little boy who was out flying a kite. It was a fine day to go kite-flying, the wind was brisk, and large billowy clouds were blowing across the sky. The kite went up and up until it was entirely hidden by the clouds. “What are you doing?” a man asked the little boy. “I’m flying a kite,” he replied. “Flying a kite, are you?” the man said, “How can you be sure? You can’t see your kite.” “No,” said the little boy, “I can’t see it, but every little while I feel a tug, so I know for sure that it’s there!” Don’t take anyone else’s word for God. Find Him for yourself, and then you too will know by the wonderful, warm tug on your heartstring, that He is there, for sure.
|5/5/2023||The Need for Love…|
Keep yourselves in the love of God . . .
A husband and wife visited an orphanage where they hoped to adopt a child. In an interview with the boy they wanted, they told him in glowing terms about the many things they could give him. To their amazement the little fellow said, “If you have nothing to offer except a good home, clothes, toys, and the other things that most kids have—why, I would just as soon stay here.” “What on earth could you want besides those things?” the woman asked. “I just want someone to love me,” replied the little boy. There you have it! Even a little boy knows that “man shall not live by bread alone.” Our deeper yearnings and longings can be met only by a renewed fellowship with the One in whose image we were created, God.
But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace . . .
Meaningless mouthings about peace will not bring it to the world. In Glasgow, Scotland, we watched the Communists march around St. George’s Square carrying their banners with the words, “Our motto is PEACE!” My thoughts raced back to Korea, where I had seen the havoc and suffering caused by these people who now use “peace” as their motto. Peace is more than five little white letters painted on a piece of red cloth, carried by a goose-stepping zealot in a Red parade. It is not a mere cessation of hostilities, a momentary halt in a hot or cold war. Rather, it is something positive. It is a specific relationship with God into which a person is brought. It is a spiritual reality in a human heart which has come into vital contact with the infinite God.
|5/3/2023||Seeing Our Need…|
Only a fool would say to himself, ‘There is no God.’ And why does he say it? Because of his wicked heart, his dark and evil deeds. His life is corroded with sin.
We live like a little ant on this little speck of dust out in space. We get a Ph.D. degree and we strut across the stage and say, “Well, I don’t know whether or not there is a God.” And we can’t even control ourselves. We can’t even keep from blowing ourselves apart. We can’t even keep from manufacturing nuclear weapons that could destroy the world. We can’t even keep from hating each other, and fighting with each other, and killing each other. We can’t even keep from stealing from each other. We can’t even keep from dying, because all of us are going to die. No wonder the Bible says, “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God,” because a man that would deny the existence of God is a fool.
|5/2/2023||God Is in Nature…|
When I consider thy heavens . . .
To look into a microscope is to see another universe so small that only the electronic microscope can even find it. For instance, it is revealed that one single snowflake in a snowstorm with millions of other snowflakes is the equivalent of twenty billion electrons. Scientists are learning that the miniature world of a single living cell is as astonishing as man himself. God says that we can learn a great deal about Him just by observing nature. Because He has spoken through His universe, all men are without excuse for not believing in Him. This is why the Psalmist said, “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God” (Psalm 14:1).
|5/1/2023||God, the Peacekeeper…|
He will keep in perfect peace all those who trust in him, whose thoughts turn often to the Lord!
You have an ego-a consciousness of being an individual. Of course, you do. But that doesn’t mean that you are to worship yourself, to think constantly of yourself, and to live entirely for yourself. Common sense tells you that your life would be miserable if you followed that course. God is infinitely more concerned about your happiness than you could possibly be. He says, “Deny yourself, and follow me.” There is many a person in the insane asylum today who thought excessively about himself, to the exclusion of God and others. Hypochondriacs who have a fanciful anxiety about their health will never be well, regardless of their physical condition.
|4/30/2023||Always Be Vigilant…|
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.
1 Peter 5:8
When I was in the hospital in Hawaii, I read again of the shocking events which led up to the destruction of the United States fleet at Pearl Harbor. On that fateful day of December 7, 1941, the Japanese attacked. We know now that that attack was invited by our failure to be always vigilant. The result was the destruction of our fleet-the cause was tragic indifference. When comfort and ease and pleasure are put ahead of duty and conviction, progress is always set back.
What makes us Christians shrug our shoulders when we ought to be flexing our muscles? What makes us apathetic in a day when there are loads to lift, a world to be won, and captives to be set free? Why are so many bored, when the times demand action? Christ told us that in the last days there would be an insipid attitude toward life.
Restore to me again the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you.
It is not unusual for persons in their early twenties to defect from their early teaching. The reasons are many. Perhaps their exposure to unbelief “took” better than their exposure to belief. This is often the case, for the Bible says, “The heart of man is deceitful above all things.”
The human heart is as prepared by sin to accept unbelief as faith. Some person they regard highly has undoubtedly influenced their thinking; and for the time being they look on their early training as “bunk.” As someone has said, “A little learning may take a man away from God, but full understanding will bring him back.”
Some of the staunchest Christians I know are people who had periods in their life when they questioned the Bible, Christ, and God. But as they continued to examine the matter, there was overwhelming evidence that only “the fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.”
|4/28/2023||The Unpayable Debt…|
Who gave himself for our sins . . .
Years ago King Charles V was loaned a large sum of money by a merchant in Antwerp. The note came due, but the king was bankrupt and unable to pay. The merchant gave a great banquet for the King. When all the guests were seated and before the food was brought in, the merchant had a large platter placed on the table and a fire lighted on it. Then, taking the note out of his pocket, he held it in the flames until it was burned to ashes. The king threw his arms around his benefactor and wept. Just so, we have been mortgaged to God. The debt was due, but we were unable to pay. Two thousand years ago God invited the world to the Gospel feast, and in the agonies of the cross, God held your sins and mine until every last vestige of our guilt was consumed.
|4/27/2023||God, Our Helper…|
I am like a sheltered olive tree protected by the Lord himself. I trust in the mercy of God forever and ever.
Turn to your Bible and read the wonderful stories of men who were alone in godless surroundings but who, by the help and presence of the living God, made a marvelous contribution to their own times. Joseph was surrounded by sin and intrigue in Egypt. His master’s wife tried to seduce him. He was tested by imprisonment, but through it all he trusted in God and sought to know and do His will; and he stands today as a wonderful example of the keeping and strengthening power of God in the heart of a man who believed in Him.
|4/26/2023||The Miracle of Life…|
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.
There is a language in nature that speaks of the existence of God. It is the language of order, beauty, perfection, and intelligence. Some time ago a scientist told me that when he gave serious thought to the majestic order of the universe and its obedience to unchanging law, he could not help but believe in God. He had become aware that God was speaking through nature.
God speaks in the certainty and regularity of the seasons; in the precision of the movements of the sun, the moon, and the stars; in the regular coming of night and day; in the balance between man’s consumption of life-giving oxygen and its production by the plant life of the earth; and even in the cry of a newborn child with its ever-new dimension of the miracle of life.
|4/25/2023||Joy in Sharing…|
We offer our sacrifice of praise to God by telling others of the glory of his name.
Jesus knew that one of the real tests of our yieldedness to God is our willingness to share with others. If we have no mercy toward others, that is one proof that we have never experienced God’s mercy. Emerson must have been reading the gauge of human mercy when he said, “What you are speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say.” Satan does not care how much you theorize about Christianity, or how much you profess to know Christ. What he opposes vigorously is the way you live Christ.
Some time ago a lady wrote and said, “I am 65 years old. My children are all married, my husband is dead, and I am one of the loneliest people in all the world.” It was suggested to her that she find a way of sharing her religious faith and her material goods with those around her. She wrote a few weeks later and said, “I am the happiest woman in town. I have found a new joy and happiness in sharing with others.” That’s exactly what Jesus promised!
|4/24/2023||He Is Alive…|
Because I live, ye shall live also.
For personal Christianity, the resurrection is all-important. There is a vital interrelation to the existence of Christianity itself, as well as to the individual believer, in the message of the Gospel. The Swiss theologian, Karl Barth, said, “Do you want to believe in the living Christ? We may believe in Him only if we believe in His corporeal resurrection. This is the content of the New Testament. We are always free to reject it, but not to modify it, nor to pretend that the New Testament tells something else. We may accept or refuse the message, but we may not change it.” Christianity as a system of truth collapses if the resurrection is rejected. That Jesus rose from the dead is one of the foundation stones of our faith.
|4/23/2023||He Died for Us…|
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
As we stand at the cross of Christ we see a glorious exhibition of God’s love. Paul wrote to the Christians in Rome, “While we were powerless to help ourselves . . . Christ died for sinful men.” In human experience, it is a rare thing for one man to give his life for another, even if the latter be a good man, though there have been a few who have had the courage to do it. Yet the proof of God’s amazing love is this: that it was “while we were sinners Christ died for us.”
A beautiful young society leader came to visit my wife and me. She had been converted to Christ in one of our Crusades, and she was absolutely radiant in her transformation. Already she had learned scores of Scripture verses by heart and was so full of Christ that we sat for two hours listening to her give her moving testimony. Over and over she said, “I cannot understand how God could forgive me. I have been such a wicked sinner. I just cannot understand the love of God.”
|4/22/2023||The Promises of God…|
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs and don’t forget to thank him for his answers.
Historians will probably call our era “the age of anxiety.” Anxiety is the natural result when our hopes are centered in anything short of God and His will for us. When we make anything else our goal, frustration and defeat are inevitable. Though we have less to worry about than previous generations, we have more worry. Though we have it easier than our forefathers, we have more uneasiness. Though we have less real cause for anxiety than our predecessors, we are inwardly more anxious. Calloused hands were the badge of the pioneer, but a furrowed brow is the insignia of modern man.
God has never promised to remove all our troubles, problems, and difficulties. In fact, sometimes I think the truly committed Christian is in conflict with the society around him more than any other person. Society is going in one direction, and the Christian is going in the opposite direction. This brings about friction and conflict. But God has promised, in the midst of trouble and conflict, a genuine peace, a sense of assurance and security, that the worldly person never knows.
|4/21/2023||Love in Action…|
Be full of love for others, following the example of Christ . . .
There is no doubt that we need social reform. If success is ever to be realized, our generations must work together and listen to each other, which is one of the first requirements of cooperation. At this point, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is relevant as the great reconciler. The Apostle John, in his first epistle, declared, “To you, young men, I have written,” and, “To you, fathers, I have written.” This is to the young activists and to the old guard, “It is by this that we know what love is: that Christ laid down His life for us. And we in our turn are bound to lay down our lives for our brothers. But if a man has enough to live on, and yet when he sees his brother in need shuts up his heart against him, how can it be said that the divine love dwells in him? My children, love must not be a matter of words or talk; it must be genuine, and show itself in action. This is how we may know that we belong to the realm of truth” (1 John 3:16-19, NEB).
|4/20/2023||Our Basic Need…|
. . . he hath set his love upon me . . .
A basic need of mankind is affection. Those who “abide in Him” are objects of God’s affection and love. You cannot say that you are friendless when Christ has said, “Henceforth I call you not servants … but I have called you friends” (John 15:15). To you who lament the fact that you have been bereft of affection and love in this life, I happily commend Christ. He loved you enough to lay down His life for you. Not only that, but by His atonement upon the cross, He purchased the favor of God in your behalf, and now through Him you may be the recipient of the grace and love of God without measure.
|4/19/2023||Depend on Him…|
I advise you to obey only the Holy Spirit’s instructions. He will tell you where to go and what to do, and then you won’t always be doing the wrong things your evil nature wants you to.
To walk in the Spirit is a challenging and inspiring exercise, for it combines activity with relaxation. To walk means to place one foot in front of the other. If you stop doing this, you are no longer walking-you are standing still. Walking always implies movement, progress, and direction. Sin shall no longer rule or dominate you when you are allowing the Holy Spirit to live Christ’s life through you. It is living by faith, living by trust, living in dependence upon God.
If we look to our own resources, our own strength, or our own ability, as Peter did when he walked on the water, we will fail. You cannot live the Christian life by yourself. The Holy Spirit must live in you and express Himself through you. Living for Christ is a day-by-day experience. It is a continuous dependence upon the Spirit of God. It is believing in His faithfulness.
|4/18/2023||Christ Is Our Comforter…|
If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!
Before He left His disciples, Christ promised that He would send a Comforter to help them in the trials, cares, and temptations of life. This word comforter means “one that helps alongside.” He is the Holy Spirit, the powerful Third Person of the Trinity. The moment you are born again, He takes up residence in your heart. You may not emotionally feel Him there, but you must exercise faith. Believe it! Accept it as a fact of faith! He is in your heart to help you. We are told that He sheds the love of God abroad in our hearts. He produces the fruit of the Spirit: “love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.” We cannot possibly manufacture this fruit in our own strength. It is supernaturally manufactured by the Holy Spirit who lives in our hearts!
|4/17/2023||The Ability to Believe…|
. . . believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead . . .
It is impossible to believe anything into existence. The Gospel did not come into being because men believed it. The tomb was not emptied of Christ’s body that first Easter because some faithful persons believed it. The fact preceded the faith. We are psychologically incapable of believing without an object of our faith. The object of Christian faith is Christ. Faith means more than an intellectual assent to the claims of Christ. You are not called upon to believe something that is not credible, but to believe in the fact of history that in reality transcends all history. Faith actually means surrender and commitment to the claims of Christ. We do not know Christ through the five physical senses, but we know Him through the sixth sense that God has given every man—the ability to believe.
|4/16/2023||Wisdom to Understand…|
Behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest.
When Jesus uttered His words of comfort in the first few verses of the fourteenth chapter of John’s Gospel, concluding with, “And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know” (John 14:4), Thomas said unto Him, “Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?” (John 14:5). Jesus answered him with a statement which has in it the ring of eternity. It was sublimely simple and yet profoundly deep. Its surface meaning was clear to all, and yet the great theologians have never completely sounded its mighty depths. This is that statement, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).
In one majestic sweep, these words silenced Thomas’ questioning tongue and brought reassurance and peace to the hearts of the other disciples. Within the marvel of that authoritative sentence from the lips of the Son of God, there was enough comfort to assuage the sufferings of the tormented, enough wisdom to satisfy those who yearned for understanding, and enough power to set the great Christian movement in motion.
|4/15/2023||Evidence of Jesus…|
I am he that liveth, and was dead; and behold, I am alive for evermore
Certain laws of evidence hold in the establishment of any historic event. Documentation of the event in question must be made by reliable contemporary witnesses. There is more evidence that Jesus rose from the dead than there is that Julius Caesar ever lived, or that Alexander the Great died at the age of 33. It is strange that historians will accept thousands of facts for which they can produce only shreds of evidence. But in the face of the overwhelming evidence of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, they cast a skeptical eye and hold intellectual doubts. The trouble with many people is that they do not want to believe. They are so completely prejudiced that they cannot accept the glorious fact of the resurrection of Christ on Bible testimony alone.
|4/14/2023||The Return of the Lord…|
Our homeland is in heaven, where our Savior the Lord Jesus Christ is; and we are looking forward to his return . . .
The Scriptures indicate that we are living in man’s day. But there is coming a day that will be called the Day of the Lord. In the midst of hopelessness, there is hope! And that hope is centered in the God-man, the Lord Jesus Christ. Now the will of man runs riot in the earth. Then the will of the Lord will alone be done. Until that time, we are under orders from the King of kings to proclaim His message. When we engage in evangelism, we are obeying His great command to “go and proclaim.” In doing so, we are hastening the day of His return.
|4/13/2023||Looking for a Cause…|
Brethren . . . present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
In a book called “The Age of Longing” we read that an American girl married a radical revolutionary in Paris. She had lost her faith at an American University—lost all the religious faith she had, and all the things her parents had told her. She was asked why she married him. She said, “He’s the first person I have ever known who believes something strong enough to die for it. Although I don’t believe exactly as he does, I was attracted to this man who had found a cause.” I find that young people today are looking for a cause, and they are not looking for something easy.
Some time ago a university student in Moscow told one of my colleagues, “You Christians say that you are going to win the world, but we’ve done more in fifty years than you’ve done in two thousand years. And do you know why? It is because you are not committed. We are. We will win, you’ll see.”
|4/12/2023||Shine Your Light…|
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
One faithful witness is worth a thousand mute professors of religion. Tom Allan, Scotland’s famous young preacher, was brought to Christ while a black soldier was singing, “Were You There When They Crucified My Lord?” He said it was neither the song nor the voice, but the spirit in which that soldier sang—something about his manner, something about his sincerity of expression—that convicted him of his wicked life and turned him to the Savior. Our faith grows by expression. If we want to keep our faith, we must share it—we must witness.
|4/11/2023||Transformed By Grace…|
He hath made him to be sin for us . . . that we might be made the righteousness of God . . .
2 Corinthians 5:21
Augustine was one of the greatest theologians of all time. He was a wild, intemperate, immoral youth. In spite of his mother’s pleadings and prayers, he grew worse instead of better. But one day he had a personal encounter with Jesus Christ that transformed his life. His restlessness and the practice of sin disappeared. He became one of the great saints of all time. John Newton was a slave trader on the west coast of Africa. One day in a storm at sea he met Jesus Christ. He went back to England and became an Anglican clergyman. He wrote scores of hymns, one of which has become the modern popular song, “Amazing Grace.” This is what Christ can do for anyone who puts his trust in Him.
|4/10/2023||What Is Most Important…|
For if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ must still be dead. And if he is still dead, then all our preaching is useless and your trust in God is empty, worthless, hopeless. . . . The fact is that Christ did actually rise from the dead . . .
1 Corinthians 15:13,14,20
I was invited to have coffee one morning with Konrad Adenauer before he retired as the Chancellor of Germany. When I walked in, I expected to meet a tall, stiff, formal man who might even be embarrassed if I brought up the subject of religion. After the greeting, the Chancellor suddenly turned to me and said, “Mr. Graham, what is the most important thing in the world?” Before I could answer, he had answered his own question. He said, “The resurrection of Jesus Christ. If Jesus Christ is alive, then there is hope for the world. If Jesus Christ is in the grave, then I don’t see the slightest glimmer of hope on the horizon.” Then he amazed me by saying that he believed that the resurrection of Christ was one of the best-attested facts of history. He said, “When I leave office, I intend to spend the rest of my life gathering scientific proof of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” It was the fact of the resurrection of Christ that called the disciples to go out as burning young revolutionaries to change the world of their day. They preached that Christ is alive. This should be our message every day of the year.
|4/9/2023||Do Not Trust Your Heart…|
And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him . . .
One of the ironies of human nature is that it often has a way of rejecting the best and accepting the worst. Why did the crowd ask for the release of Barabbas and the crucifixion of Jesus? The answer is in the biblical statement, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.” Jesus is just as divine today and just as much alive as He was on that first Good Friday. Yet millions today don’t accept Him. His goodness is still a rebuke to our badness; His purity still shows up our impurities; His sinlessness still reveals our sinfulness; and unless we allow Him to destroy the evil within us, the evil within us still wants to destroy Him. This is the conflict of the ages.
|4/8/2023||Unchanging Human Nature…|
Look! There is the Lamb of God who takes away the world’s sin.
At the cross of Christ, sin reached its climax. Its most terrible display took place at Calvary. It was never blacker or more hideous. We see the human heart laid bare and its corruption fully exposed. Some people have said that man has improved since that day, that if Christ came back today, He would not be crucified but would be given a glorious reception. Christ does come to us every day in the form of Bibles that we do not read, in the form of churches that we do not attend, in the form of human need that we pass by. I am convinced that if Christ came back today, He would be crucified more quickly than He was two thousand years ago. Sin never improves. Human nature has not changed.
|4/7/2023||What Makes Christianity Different…|
He is not here, but is risen.
Something distinguishes Christianity from all the religions of the world. Not only does it carry the truth of the redemption, by the death of our Savior for our sins on the cross, but it carries the fact that Christ rose again. Only the Christian faith claims that its Leader died and rose again and is alive at this moment. Many gravestones carry the inscription, “Here lies . . . ,” but on Christ’s tomb are emblazoned the words, “He is not here.” Christianity has no shrines to visit, no dusty remains to venerate, no tombs at which to worship. Many good men have lived, and still live, in the memory of those who knew them, but there is only one Man who conquered death—Jesus Christ—and He will live forever.
|4/6/2023||Know the Bible…|
Search the Book of the Lord . . .
A knowledge of the Bible is essential to a rich and meaningful life. For the words of this Book have a way of filling in the missing pieces, of bridging the gaps, of turning the tarnished colors of our life to jewel-like brilliance. Learn to take your every problem to the Bible. Within its pages you will find the correct answer. But most of all, the Bible is a revelation of the nature of God. The philosophers of the centuries have struggled with the problem of a Supreme Being. Who is He? What is He? Where is He? If there is such a Person, is He interested in me? If so, how can I know Him? These and a thousand other questions about God are answered in this Holy Book we call the Bible.
|4/5/2023||What a Savior!|
It was written long ago that the Messiah must suffer and die and rise again from the dead on the third day.
What was the power and influence that changed the cross from an instrument of bloody torture into the most glorious and beloved of all symbols? The Romans crucified thousands of people before and after Calvary. If Jesus had not risen from the dead, no right-minded person would have glorified anything so hideous and repulsive as a cross stained with the blood of Jesus. By the miracle of His rising from the grave, Jesus placed the seal of assurance upon the forgiveness of our sins.
A dead Christ could not have been our Savior. An unopened grave would never have opened heaven. By bursting the chains of the tomb, Jesus proved Himself to all ages the conqueror of sin. The sacrifice on Calvary had fulfilled its purpose; the ransom price paid for your sins and mine had been accepted by God. Hallelujah, what a Savior!
|4/4/2023||Die to Yourself…|
The Lord is close to those whose hearts are breaking; he rescues those who are humbly sorry for their sins.
In God’s economy, you must go down into the valley of grief before you can scale the heights of spiritual glory. You must become tired and weary of living alone before you seek and find the fellowship of Christ. You must come to the end of self before you begin to live. The mourning of inadequacy is a weeping that catches the attention of God. The Bible says, “The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.” The happiest day of my life was when I realized that my own ability, my own goodness, and my own morality was insufficient in the sight of God; and I publicly and openly acknowledged my need of Christ. I am not exaggerating when I say that my mourning was turned to joy, and my sighing into singing.
|4/3/2023||Not Just a Man…|
And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
Napoleon was right when he said, “I know men, and I tell you, Jesus is more than a man. Comparison is impossible between Him and any other human being who ever lived, because He was the Son of God.” Emerson was right when he replied to those who asked him why he did not include Jesus among his Representative Men, “Jesus was not just a man.” Arnold Toynbee was right when he said, “As we stand and gaze with our eyes fixed upon the farther shore, a simple figure rises from the flood and straightway fills the whole horizon of history. There is the Savior.”
|4/2/2023||Use Your Mind…|
And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind . . .
Christ touches every area of our lives. He touches our minds and we are transformed by the renewing of our minds. God invites people to use their minds, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord” (Isaiah 1:18). We are told in Scripture not to be like the horse or mule, “which have no understanding” (Psalm 32:9). Christ declared that we are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind. We are told to fear God, to love Christ, and to hate sin. Fear, love, and hate are emotions. Dr. Leslie Weatherhead, preaching at the City Temple in London, said, “What is wrong with emotion? Christianity is falling in love with Christ. Has anyone ever fallen in love without emotion?”
|4/1/2023||Glory in the Cross…|
As for me, God forbid that I should boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.
What glory is there in the cross? It was an instrument of torture and shame. Why did Paul glory in it? He gloried in it because the most selfless act ever performed by men or angels took place upon it. He saw-emanating from that rough, unartistic beam upon which the Son of God had been crucified—the radiant hope of the world, the end of the believer’s bondage to sin, and the love of God shed abroad in the hearts of men. A lone man dying on a cross did more to restore man’s lost harmony with God, his fellowman, and himself, than the combined genius and power of earth’s mighty. With my finite limitations, I cannot fully comprehend the mystery of Christ’s atonement. I only know that all who come to the cross in simple, trusting faith lose all their guilty stains and find peace with God.
|3/31/2023||The Hope of Resurrection…|
He which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus . . .
2 Corinthians 4:14
The resurrection of Christ brings hope. The late Emil Brunner once said, “What oxygen is for the lungs, such is hope for the meaning of human life.” As the human organism is dependent on a supply of oxygen, so humanity is dependent on its supply of hope. Yet today hopelessness and despair are everywhere. Peter, who himself was given to despair during the episode of Calvary, writes in a triumphant note, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again into a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
There is hope that mistakes and sins can be forgiven. There is hope that we can have joy, peace, assurance, and security in the midst of the despair of this age. There is hope that Christ is coming soon—this is what is called in Scripture “the blessed hope.” There is hope that there will come some day a new heaven and a new earth, and that the Kingdom of God will reign and triumph. Our hope is not in our own ability, or in our goodness, or in our physical strength. Our hope is instilled in us by the resurrection of Christ.
For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us . . .
1 Thessalonians 5:9,10
Look at Christ’s death. In one biography of the great American, Daniel Webster, 863 pages deal with his career and just five pages are devoted to his death. In Hay’s life of Abraham Lincoln there are 5,000 pages but only 25 are devoted to the dramatic story of his assassination and death. In most biographies the deaths of the subjects are mere incidents at the close of the books. But when we come to the four “biographies” of Jesus, the four Gospels, we are confronted with a strange fact. One-third of Matthew is given to a description of the death of Christ. One-third of Mark, one-fourth of Luke, and one-half of John are given to His death. All these pages are devoted to the last 24 hours of His life. The death of Jesus Christ is a significant fact in human history, because Jesus Christ came for the express purpose of dying for sinners. When He left heaven, He knew He was going to the cross.
|3/29/2023||Cleansed by the Blood…|
. . . unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.
Blood is mentioned 460 times in the Bible. Fourteen times in the New Testament Jesus spoke of His own blood. Why? Because by the shedding of His blood, He accomplished the possibility of our salvation. He paid the penalty for our sin and redeemed us. The penalty for our sin and rebellion is death; Jesus stepped out and said, “I’ll take that death.” He voluntarily laid down His life and took the penalty we deserve. That’s what the cross is all about.
The blood of Jesus Christ not only redeems us, it justifies us. Being justified means more than being forgiven. I can say, “I forgive you,” but I can’t justify you. But God not only forgives the past, He clothes you in righteousness as though you had never committed a sin. Yet it cost the blood of His Son on the cross.
|3/28/2023||The Light of the World…|
The Lord is my light and my salvation . . .
Under the picture of Peter Milne, hanging in the church he founded on the little New Hebrides Island of Nguna, these words are found: “When he came, there was no light. When he died, there was no darkness.” When Christ came into the world, there was no light. Matthew (quoting Isaiah) said of Him, “The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up” (Matthew 4:16). Harry Lauder once said that during his boyhood, he could tell where the lamplighter was “by the trail of light he left behind him.” Christ was the heavenly Lamplighter. Everywhere He went, the midnight gloom of sin and despair disappeared before Him.
|3/27/2023||The Greatest Act of Humility…|
. . . he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.
In almost every instance in the Bible, as well as in life, pride is associated with failure, not success. We hear a great deal about the inferiority complex, but the superiority complex of pride is seldom spoken of. It was pride that caused the fall of Lucifer, and he became Satan, the devil. It was pride that led King Saul down to a shameful and untimely death. It was pride that caused Peter to deny his Lord.
The greatest act of humility in the history of the universe was when Jesus Christ stooped to die on the cross of Calvary. And before any man can get to heaven, he must kneel at the foot of the cross and acknowledge that he is a sinner, that he has broken the Ten Commandments of God, and that he needs the grace of God in Christ. No man can come proudly to the Savior.
|3/26/2023||Turn Darkness to Light…|
. . . light is come into the world, and men
loved darkness rather than light . . .
The world’s difficulty is summed up in the words, “And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness understood it not.” The light of Easter is shining, but men refuse to turn to its healing rays for forgiveness, redemption, and salvation. Thus Christ is being rejected by the overwhelming majority of humanity today. As a result, men stumble on in spiritual darkness blindly toward destruction, judgment, and hell.
In the midst of the darkness and “void” at the creation of the world, God said, “Let there be light.” In your own mind-darkened, will-paralyzed, conscience-dulled soul, God can make the light penetrate and turn the darkness of your own life into day, if you will let Him. Many of you are living in spiritual darkness, confused, frustrated, disturbed, and fearful. Let the Light come into your heart by faith.
If a person isn’t loving and kind, it shows that he doesn’t know God—for God is love.
1 John 4:8
Jesus wept tears of compassion at the graveside of a friend. He mourned over Jerusalem because as a city it had lost its appreciation of the things of the Spirit. His great heart was sensitive to the needs of others. To emphasize the importance of man’s love for men, He revised an old commandment to make it read, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart . . . and thy neighbor as thyself.” This generation is rough and tough. I heard a little boy boasting one day about how tough he was. He said, “On the street I live on, the farther out you go the tougher they get, and I live in the last house.” Until you have learned the value of compassionately sharing others’ sorrow, distress, and misfortune, you cannot know real happiness.
|3/24/2023||The Endless Love of God…|
But to all who received him, he gave the right to become children of God.
Who can describe or measure the love of God? God is love. But the fact that God is love does not mean that everything is sweet, beautiful, and happy, and that God’s love could not possibly allow punishment for sin. God’s holiness demands that all sin be punished, but God’s love provided a plan of redemption and salvation for sinful man. God’s love provided the cross of Jesus Christ by which man can have forgiveness and cleansing. It was the love of God that sent Jesus Christ to the cross.
No matter what sin you have committed, no matter how black, dirty, shameful, or terrible it may be, God loves you. Yet this love of God that is immeasurable, unmistakable, and unending, this love of God that reaches to wherever a man is, can be entirely rejected. God will not force Himself upon anyone against his will. It is your part to believe. It is your part to receive. Nobody else can do it for you.
|3/23/2023||Jesus Never Changes…|
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever.
The Bible says, “It is appointed unto men once to die,” and to the average person this seems a stark and hopeless situation. Hundreds of philosophies and scores of religions have been invented to circumvent the Word of God. Modern philosophers and psychologists are still trying to make it appear that there is some way out other than the path of Jesus. But people have tried them all, and none of them leads anywhere but down. Christ came to give us the answers to the three enduring problems of sin, sorrow, and death. It is Jesus Christ, and He alone, who is also enduring and unchanging, “the same yesterday, today, and forever.” All other things may change, but Christ remains unchangeable.
In the restless sea of human passions Christ stands steadfast and calm, ready to welcome all who will turn to Him and accept the blessings of safety and peace. For we are living in an age of grace, in which God promises that “whosoever will” may come and receive His Son. But this period of grace will not go on indefinitely. We are even now living on borrowed time.
|3/22/2023||A Pure Heart…|
Keep thyself pure.
1 Timothy 5:22
The Pharisees were not happy men. They had furrowed brows, nervous tension, frustration. They were full of resentments, bitterness, prejudices, and hatreds. Why? Simply because they had lost sight of God’s conception of the pure in heart. They thought that as long as they kept the letter of the law that was enough. But this was not God’s plan. This did not produce purity of heart. This did not bring about happiness of soul. Jesus taught that God looks deeper than the outside actions of an individual. He searches and ponders the heart. God judges not so much the outside as He does the inside. He looks to the motives, thoughts, and intents of your heart.
|3/21/2023||Satisfaction in Him…|
I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.
Is it not logical to believe that the only one who can recreate us is the One who created us in the first place? If your watch were out of order, you wouldn’t take it to a blacksmith. If your car needed overhauling, you wouldn’t go to a machine shop. Our spiritual problems can be solved only by the God who created us originally. He created us in His own image and likeness; today, by the grace of His Son, He can recreate us in the likeness of His resurrection. Through faith in Jesus Christ, we are recreated and become partakers of His life.
So use every piece of God’s armor to resist the enemy whenever he attacks, and when it is all over, you will still be standing up.
Daniel and his companions were tempted to forsake their godly heritage, but they refused. They even faced a fiery furnace rather than compromise. God honored their faith and mightily used them. Moses was surrounded by the luxury and godlessness of the Egyptian court, but cast in his lot with his own people. Lot lived in Sodom and saw the obscenities of that doomed city. God saved him out of it because he trusted in Him. Every one of our Lord’s apostles sealed their faith with their lives. Since then, history has been replete with the lives of men who have put God and His way of life above all else.
|3/19/2023||We Need Faith…|
And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.
Dr. Wernher von Braun, the guiding scientist in the development of our great space rockets, has said, “The materialists of the 19th century and the Marxist heirs of the 20th tried to tell us that as science yields more knowledge about the creation, it makes us able to live without faith in a Creator. Yet so far, with every new answer we have discovered new questions. The better we understand the intricacies of the atomic structure, the nature of life and the master plan for the galaxies, the more reason we have found to marvel at the wonder of God’s creation. But our need for God is not based on awe alone. Man needs faith just as he needs food, water, and air. With all the science in the world, we need faith in God.”
|3/18/2023||Tame Your Temper…|
Doest thou well to be angry?
You have a temper. There is nothing unique about that. Most people have tempers, in varying degrees, of course. God does not ask that you get rid of that temper. But He does say that if you are to be happy, it must be brought under control and rechanneled to proper use. God cannot use a man without a temper as well as one with a controlled temper. Too many professed Christians never get “wrought up” about anything; they never get indignant with injustice, with corruption in high places, or with the godless traffics which barter away the souls and bodies of men.
|3/17/2023||Sight for the Blind…|
. . . one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.
I try to explain to you the joy of following Christ: the thrill, the excitement, the exhilaration—knowing where I’ve come from, why I’m here, where I’m going! There’s a reason for existence. There’s a reason for getting up every morning of the year. I try to tell you what I’ve found in Jesus Christ, and in studying the Scriptures and walking with Him, and you say, “I can’t see that!” Of course, you can’t. You are blind. Try to explain television to a blind man. He can understand a little of it, but it doesn’t make sense to him. Try to explain a sunset to him. He’s blind to it. The scales must be removed from your eyes, and only Christ can do that. He can remove them right now and you can start living and seeing a whole new world that you never knew existed, if you will let Him open your spiritual eyes.
|3/16/2023||The Secret of Contentment…|
I pray that you will begin to understand how incredibly great his power is to help those who believe him. It is that same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead . . .
Jesus told His disciples that the world would hate them. They would be “as sheep in the midst of wolves.” They would be arrested, scourged, and brought before governors and kings. Even their loved ones would persecute them. As the world hated and persecuted Him, so it would treat His servants. Thousands of Christians have learned the secret of contentment and joy in trial. Some of the happiest Christians I have met have been lifelong sufferers. They have had every reason to sigh and complain, being denied so many privileges and pleasures that they see others enjoy, yet they have found greater cause for gratitude and joy than many who are prosperous, vigorous and strong.
In all ages, Christians have found it possible to maintain the spirit of joy in the hour of trial. In circumstances that would have felled most men, they have so completely risen above them that they actually have used the circumstances to serve and glorify Christ.
|3/15/2023||Ready for a Breakthrough…|
. . . may the God of peace . . . produce in you through the power of Christ all that is pleasing to him . . .
When I was a boy, radio was just coming of age. We would gather around a crude homemade set and twist the three tuning dials in an effort to establish contact with the transmitter. Often, all the sound that came out of the amplifier was the squawk of static; but we knew that somewhere out there was the unseen transmitter, and if contact was established and the dials were in adjustment, we could hear a voice loud and clear. After a long time of laborious tuning, the far distant voice would suddenly break through and a smile of triumph would illuminate the faces of all in the room. At last we were tuned in!
In the revelation that God established between Himself and us, we can find a new life and a new dimension of living, but we must “tune in.” There are higher levels of living to which we have never attained. There is peace, satisfaction, and joy that we have never experienced. God is trying to break through to us. The heavens are calling. God is speaking! Let man hear.
So don’t be anxious about tomorrow. God will take care of your tomorrow too. Live one day at a time.
King George V wrote on the flyleaf of the Bible of a friend, “The secret of happiness is not to do what you like to do, but to learn to like what you have to do.” Too many think of happiness as some sort of will-o’-the-wisp thing that is discovered by constant and relentless searching. It is not found by seeking. It is not an end in itself. Pots of gold are never found at the end of the rainbow, as we used to think when we were children; gold is mined from the ground or panned laboriously from a mountain stream.
Jesus once told His disciples, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” The “things” He spoke of were the things that make us feel happy and secure—food, drink, clothes, shelter. He told us not to make these the chief goal of our lives but to “seek the kingdom” and these needs would be automatically supplied. There, if we will take it, is the secret of happiness.
|3/13/2023||God of Order…|
The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust . . .
The trouble with our modern thinking is that we have a conception that God is a haphazard God with no set rules of life and salvation. Ask the astronomer if God is a haphazard God. He will tell you that every star moves with precision in its celestial path. Ask the scientist if God is a haphazard God. He will tell you that His formulas and equations are fixed, and that to ignore the laws of science would be a fool’s folly. If the laws in the material realm are so fixed and exact, is it reasonable that God could afford to be haphazard in the spiritual realm, where eternal destinies of souls are at stake? Just as God has equations and rules in the material realm, God has equations and rules in the spiritual.
|3/12/2023||Growing as a Christian…|
Dear brothers, I have been talking to you as though you were still just babies in the Christian life . . .
1 Corinthians 3:1
Some people have received Christ but have never reached spiritual maturity. They have been in church all their lives, and yet they have never become mature Christians. They are still considered “spiritual children” and “babes in Christ.” They know little Scripture. They have little desire to pray, and bear few of the marks of a Christian in their daily living. To say, “I will resolve to do better, I will muster all my will power and revise my way of living,” is noble, but futile. A corpse could as well say, “I will-through sheer effort-rise out of this coffin and be a living man again.” You need a power outside yourself. You cannot get over the habits and chains that are binding you. You need outside help. You need Christ.
The Bible tells of a bridge of faith which reaches from the valley of despair to the high hills of glorious hope in Christ. It tells where we are, but beyond that-it tells where we may be in Christ. Now, of course, you will not be completely mature until you are in the presence of Christ, but you should be growing every day as a Christian.
|3/11/2023||The Power of Speech…|
Submit yourselves therefore to God . . .
You have a tongue and a voice. These instruments of speech can be used destructively or employed constructively. You can use your tongue to slander, to gripe, to scold, to nag, and to quarrel; or you can bring it under the control of God’s Spirit and make it an instrument of blessing and praise. The 20th-century version of James 3:3 says, “When we put bits into the horses’ mouths to make them obey us, we control the rest of their bodies also.” Just so, when we submit to the claims of Christ upon our lives, our untamed natures are brought under His control. We become meek, tamed, and “fit for the Master’s service.”
|3/10/2023||Not Good Enough…|
. . . not having mine own righteousness . . .
People go through many doors which do not lead to the Kingdom of God. Some try the door of good works. They say, “I can get to heaven if I only do enough good things, because God will honor all the good things I do.” It’s wonderful to do good things, but we cannot do enough good things to satisfy God. God demands perfection, and we’re not perfect. If we’re going to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, we have to be absolutely perfect. You ask, “Well, how will I ever be perfect?” We need to be clothed in the righteousness of the Lord Jesus. There is one door to the Kingdom and it’s Jesus. And we will never get to heaven unless we go His way.
|3/9/2023||The Real You…|
That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith . . .
Experts have told us that society is sick. Their solutions have treated human frailty with infusions of low-income housing, welfare payments, integrated education, and psychological conditioning. But we are learning that this is not the total answer. The world does need changing, society needs changing, the nation needs changing, but we never will change it until we ourselves are changed. And we never will change until we look into the mirror of our own soul and face with candor what we are inside. Then freely acknowledge that there is a defect in human nature, a built-in waywardness that comes from man’s natural rebellion against God. I am not preaching now, just trying to give you an understanding of what makes you tick. But I also expect to show you that, in the end, you can find your answers only in a personal relationship with God.
Stop loving this evil world and all that it offers you, for when you love these things you show that you do not really love God . . .
1 John 2:15
There are certain elements of daily life which are not sinful in themselves but which have a tendency to lead to sin if they are abused. Abuse literally means “extreme use” and, in many instances, overuse of things lawful becomes sin. Ambition is an essential part of character, but it must be fixed on lawful objects and exercised in proper proportion. Thought about the necessities of life and taking care of one’s family is absolutely essential; but this can degenerate into anxiety, and then, as Christ reminded us, the cares of this life choke the spiritual seed in the heart.
Making of money is essential for daily living; but money-making is apt to degenerate into money-loving, and then the deceitfulness of riches enters and spoils our spiritual life. Much so-called worldliness in Christian circles is misunderstood. You cannot confine it to a particular rank, walk, or circumstance of life, and say that one person is spiritual and another is unspiritual. Worldliness is actually a spirit, an atmosphere, an influence permeating the whole of life and human society, and it needs to be guarded against constantly and strenuously.
|3/7/2023||The Divine Standard…|
For salvation that comes from trusting Christ . . . is already within easy reach of each of us . . .
Christ said there is a happiness in that acknowledgment of spiritual poverty which lets God come into our souls. Now, the Bible teaches that our souls have a disease. It causes all the troubles and difficulties in the world. It causes all the troubles, confusions, and disillusionments in your own life. The name of the disease is an ugly word. We don’t like to use it. It is “sin.” All of us have pride. We do not like to confess that we are wrong or that we have failed. But God says, “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” We have failed to live up to the divine standard. We must confess our sin as the first step to happiness, peace, and contentment.
|3/6/2023||A Heart of Belief…|
If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
The heart is the blood-pump of the body. It is also used metaphorically when we speak of affections and feelings. Since it is the central organ of the body and one of the most vital, the Bible speaks of it as the wellspring of life. Hence, it is used synonymously with “life.” When the Bible says, “Son, give me thine heart,” it doesn’t mean that we are to cut out our actual hearts and give them to God. It means that we are to give Him our lives, our all. When we come to Christ, we are not only to give intellectual assent with our minds, we are to “believe in our hearts.” We can believe in the historic Jesus, but if we have “saving faith” our belief must involve our whole being. When we believe with all our hearts, the will, the emotions, and the intellect are surrendered to Christ.
|3/5/2023||The Life of a Servant…|
So he went and did according unto the word of the Lord . . .
1 Kings 17:5
As messengers of God, we will often lead lonely lives. “All men forsook me,” said Paul. It is a price we have to pay; there is a loneliness in the Gospel. Yet you will not be alone, because you will be ministered to by the Spirit of God, as Elijah was ministered to at the brook Cherith. A true messenger lives a burdened life. If he is the Lord’s vessel, he carries in his heart a burden for souls none can share but those who know it firsthand.
|3/4/2023||Jesus Is Coming…|
But don’t forget this, dear friends. . . . He isn’t really being slow about his promised return, even though it sometimes seems that way. But he is waiting, for the good reason that he is not willing that any should perish, and he is giving more time for sinners to repent.
2 Peter 3:8,9
Many people are asking, “Where is history heading?” A careful student of the Bible will be led to see that God controls the clock of destiny. Amid the world’s confusion, God’s omnipotent hand moves, working out His unchanging plan and purpose. Jesus Christ is coming to earth again. It is Christ who is in control, and He will determine the outcome. George Whitefield, the great English evangelist, said, “I am daily waiting for the coming of the Son of God.” But he did not sit down and do nothing. He burned out his life in proclaiming the Gospel of Christ.
|3/3/2023||God Is the Life Giver…|
He made the world and everything there is.
There are many arguments we could marshal to give evidence of the existence of God. There is scientific evidence pointing to God’s existence. For example, whatever is in motion must be moved by another, for motion is the response of matter to power. In the world of matter there can be no power without life, and life pre-supposes a being from which emanates the power to move things, such as tides and the planets. Or there is the argument that says nothing can be the cause of itself. It would be prior to itself if it caused itself to be, and that is an absurdity. Then there is the law of life. We see objects that have no intellect, such as stars and planets, moving in a consistent pattern, cooperating ingeniously with one another. Hence, it is evident that they achieve their movements not by accident but by design. Whatever lacks intelligence cannot move intelligently. An arrow would be useless without a bow and an archer. What gives direction and purpose and design to inanimate objects? It is God. He is the underlying, motivating force of life.
You deserve honesty from the heart; yes, utter sincerity and truthfulness. Oh, give me this wisdom.
Psalm 51:6 (TLB)
The Bible teaches that purity of conduct includes truthfulness. The Bible teaches that we should be truthful in our representation of ourselves. With what scorn Christ denounced the hypocrisy of the scribes and Pharisees! In the Sermon on the Mount He rebuked all hypocritical giving, praying, and fasting. We should also be truthful in speaking of our past achievements in our particular vocation. God does not ask us to understate the facts—that might even be untruthfulness—but neither does He want us to overrate our achievements or our gifts, either in thought or in speech. A lie is anything contrary to the naked truth.
|3/1/2023||Meditate on Scripture…|
How can a young man stay pure? By reading your Word and following its rules.
Many of the difficulties we experience as Christians can be traced to a lack of Bible study and reading. We should not be content to skim through a chapter merely to satisfy our conscience. Hide the Word of God in your heart! A little portion well digested is of greater value to the soul than a lengthy portion scanned hurriedly. Do not be discouraged because you cannot understand it all. Go on reading. As you read, the Holy Spirit will enlighten the passages for you. Reading the Bible has a purifying effect upon the heart and mind.
|2/28/2023||He Gives Us Life Eternal…|
These things have I written unto you that believe . . . that ye may know that ye have eternal life . . .
1 John 5:13
Recently I read that it will cost this country a hundred billion dollars to get one man safely to Mars. It cost God the priceless blood of His only Son to get us sinners to heaven. By tasting death for every man, Jesus took over our penalty as He erased our guilt. Now God can forgive. In a moment of thanksgiving, Paul once exclaimed, “He loved me and gave Himself for me!” Will you repeat these words right now, even as you read? If you do, I believe you will have cause to be thankful too, and that you will experience the love of God in your heart. Try it and see. The Bible teaches that you can be absolutely sure that you are saved.
|2/27/2023||God Our Comforter…|
I, even I, am he that comforteth you . . .
There is also comfort in mourning, because in the midst of mourning God gives a song. His presence in our lives changes our mourning into song, and that song is a song of comfort.
This kind of comfort is the kind which enabled a devout Englishman to look at a deep dark hole in the ground where his home stood before the bombing and say, “I always did want a basement. Now I can jolly well build another house, like I always wanted.”
This kind of comfort is the kind which enabled a young minister’s wife in a church near us to teach her Sunday school class of girls on the very day of her husband’s funeral. Her mourning was not the kind which had no hope—it was a mourning of faith in the goodness and wisdom of God; it believed that our heavenly Father makes no mistakes.
|2/26/2023||Practice the Fruits of the Spirit…|
But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control . . .
Christ can rid you of inner conflict. Man without God is always torn between two urges. His nature prompts him to do wrong, and his conscience urges him to do right. Antagonistic desires and crossed-up emotions keep him in a state of personal instability. Medical men have almost concluded that this conflict is the basis of much physical breakdown and nervous collapse. Many doctors now believe that among the contributing causes of the common cold are stress, tension, and inner conflict. Paul must have been in the midst of such a personal civil war when he cried, “O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” Then he answered his own question when he said, “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
|2/25/2023||Change of Heart…|
Christ taught you! If you have really heard his voice . . . then throw off your old evil nature-the old you that was a partner in your evil ways . . .
Paul before his conversion was not meek. Proudly and brutally, he apprehended all Christians and sought to destroy them. He was bigoted, selfish, and vaunted. But when he wrote his warm and affectionate letter to the churches of Galatia, he said, among other things, “The fruit of the Spirit is . . . gentleness, goodness . . . meekness.” His meekness was something God-given, not something man-made. It is not our nature to be meek. On the contrary, it is our nature to be proud and haughty. That is why the new birth is so essential to each of us. That is why Jesus frankly and pointedly said not only to Nicodemus but to every one of us, “Ye must be born again.” Meekness begins there! You must have a change of nature.
|2/24/2023||He Is Merciful…|
Who is a God like unto thee . . . he delighteth in mercy.
Many people want to hear what God says just out of curiosity. They want to analyze and dissect it in their own test tubes. To these people, God may remain the great cosmic silence “out there somewhere.” He communicates to those who are willing to hear and receive Him, and willing to obey Him.
Jesus said that we must become humble as little children, and God has most often revealed Himself to the meek and the humble—to a shepherd boy like David, to a rough desert man like John the Baptist, to shepherds watching their flocks, to a girl named Mary. How does God speak? How can a blind man see? How can a deaf man hear?
From the beginning God spoke to man. Adam heard the voice of the Lord in the Garden of Eden. Adam had two sons, Cain and Abel, and God spoke to them. Cain spurned that which was revealed to him, but Abel was obedient to the Word of God. Abel’s response showed that a man tainted and handicapped by sin could respond to God’s overtures. Thus, in the beginning, God began by revelation to build a bridge between Himself and people.
|2/23/2023||Living in His Power…|
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
Jesus had a humble heart. If He abides in us, pride will never dominate our lives. Jesus had a loving heart. If He dwells within us, hatred and bitterness will never rule us. Jesus had a forgiving and understanding heart. If He lives within us, mercy will temper our relationships with our fellowmen. Jesus had an unselfish heart. If He lives in us, selfishness will not predominate, but service to God and others will come before our selfish interests. You say, “That’s a big order!” I admit that. It would be impossible if you had to measure up to Him in your own strength and with your natural heart. Paul recognized that he could never attain this heart purity by his own striving.
|2/22/2023||The Enemy Deceives Us…|
In every battle you will need faith as your shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed at you by Satan.
Many jokes are made about the devil, but the devil is no joke. If a short time ago I had talked about Satan to university students, they would have made light of him, but no longer. Students today want to know about the devil, about witchcraft, about the occult. Many people do not know they are turning to Satan. They are being deluded because, according to Jesus Christ, Satan is the father of lies and the greatest liar of all times. He is called a deceiver. In order to accomplish his purpose, the devil blinds people to their need of Christ. Two forces are at work in our world-the forces of Christ and the forces of the devil-and you are asked to choose.
|2/21/2022||Wisdom for Today…|
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God . . . and it shall be given him.
Peace with God and the peace of God in a man’s heart and the joy of fellowship with Christ have in themselves a beneficial effect upon the body and mind, and will lead to the development and preservation of physical and mental power. Thus, Christ promotes the best interest of the body and mind as well as of the spirit—in addition to inward peace, the development of spiritual life, the joy and fellowship with Christ, and the new strength that come with being born again. There are certain special privileges that only the true Christian can enjoy. There is, for example, the privilege of having divine wisdom and guidance continually.
Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
When temptations come, let me suggest that you ask God for strength—and also to show you the way He has prepared for your escape. One other word of counsel; be very sure that you do not deliberately place yourself in a position to be tempted. All of us are not subjected to the same weaknesses and temptations. To one, alcohol may be the temptation; to another, it may be impure thoughts and acts; to another, greed and covetousness; to another, criticism and an unloving attitude. Regardless of what it may be, be sure that Satan will tempt you at your weak point, not the strong. Our Lord has given us an example of how to overcome the devil’s temptations. When He was tempted in the wilderness, He defeated Satan every time by the use of the Bible.
|2/19/2023||Tame Your Tongue…|
If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.
The problems of the world could be solved overnight if men could get victory over their tongues. Suppose there was no anger, no profanity, no lying, no grumbling or complaining; suppose there were no dirty stories told, no unjust criticism—what a different world this would be! The Bible teaches that a man who can control his tongue can control his whole personality. We should ask ourselves three questions before we speak: Is it true? Is it kind? Does it glorify Christ? If we would always think before we speak, there would be much less evil speaking, and there would soon be a spiritual awakening that would sweep the church in America.
|2/18/2023||How Will You Live?|
And Jesus said, . . . and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.
The world in which we live is full of pessimism. No Christian has the scriptural right to go around wringing his hands wondering what we are to do in the face of the present world situation. The Scripture says that in the midst of persecution, confusion, wars, and rumors of wars, we are to comfort one another with the knowledge that our Lord Jesus Christ is coming back in triumph, glory, and majesty. Many times when I go to bed at night I think to myself that before I awaken Christ may come. Sometimes when I get up and look at the dawn I think that perhaps this is the day He will come. He has told us Christians to be watching constantly and to be ready, “for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh” (Matthew 24:44). Do you think Christ will come today? “Probably not,” you say. It is on just such a day that He may come. What a glorious time of reunion it’s going to be, when we shall be caught up with Him!
|2/17/2023||Our Eternal Home…|
I create new heavens . . .
What kind of place is heaven?
First, heaven is home. The Bible takes the word “home” with all of its tender associations and with all of its sacred memories and tells us that heaven is home. Second, heaven is a home which is permanent. We have the promise of a home where Christ’s followers will remain forever. Third, the Bible teaches that heaven is a home which is beautiful beyond every imagination. Heaven could not help but be so, because God is a God of beauty. Fourth, the Bible teaches that heaven will be a home which is happy, because there will be nothing to make it sad. In heaven families and friends will be reunited. God’s house will be a happy home because Christ will be there. He will be the center of heaven. To Him all hearts will turn, and upon Him all eyes will rest.
|2/16/2023||Living Enthusiastically for God…|
Good salt is worthless if it loses its saltiness; it can’t season anything. So don’t lose your flavor!
Columbus was called mad because he decided to sail the uncharted ocean. . . . Martin Luther was called mad because he presumed to defy the entrenched religious hierarchy of his time. Patrick Henry was considered mad when he cried, “Give me liberty, or give me death!” George Washington was thought to be mad when he decided to continue the war after the winter at Valley Forge, when thousands of his men had died and other thousands had deserted, leaving him only a handful of men. We have become too sophisticated and respectable to be called mad in our generation. Christianity has become so respectable and so conventional that it is now insipid. The salt has lost its flavor. . . . Would to God that the world found us Christians dangerous enough to call us mad, in these days when materialism and secularism are sweeping over the world. Thank God there are those who sacrifice time, talents, social position, and lucrative posts, and who fling aside every advantage in order to serve the Kingdom of God.
|2/15/2023||The Ultimate Peace…|
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you . . .
Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” Where does peacemaking begin? How can we become peacemakers? Can peace be discovered within ourselves? Freud has told us that peace is but a mental attitude. Cast off our phobias, shed our neuroses, and “bingo!”—we’ll have the coveted peace we long for. I respect psychiatry for what it can do. Unquestionably, it has helped many. But it certainly is not satisfactory as a substitute for the peace which can come only from God. If psychiatry leaves God out, ultimately we shall see psychiatrists going to each other for treatment. There can be no peace until we find peace with God. The Bible says, “He is our peace.”
|2/14/2023||The Mystery of His Love…|
I have loved thee with an everlasting love . . .
No human experience can fully illustrate the imputed righteousness of God, as conceived by His infinite love. It is a mystery-incomprehensible and inexplicable. Like the mystery of the sun’s heat and light, we cannot measure it or explain it, and yet we could not live without it. Writing of the mystery of completed righteousness, Paul said, “We speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory. . . . But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:7, 9). What God has wrought in us is wonderful. But His work has just begun. He has a wonderful, exciting, thrilling future for all of His believing children.
|2/13/2023||Chosen by God…|
. . . you have been chosen by God who has given you this new kind of life . . .
Modern writers depict the pessimism of our time and many of them throw up their hands in despair and say, “There is no answer to man’s dilemma.” Hemingway once said, “I live in a vacuum that is as lonely as a radio tube when the batteries are dead, and there is no current to plug into.” Eugene O’Neill in “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” typifies the philosophical attitude of our day. He says, “Life’s only meaning is death.” I say to Hemingway and to O’Neill, who have already gone on, “There is more to life than death.” There is more to life than a radio tube that needs a place to plug into. Jesus taught us the dignity and importance of being a person. God put us on this earth for a purpose, and our purpose is fellowship with God and to glorify God.
|2/12/2023||Feeling the Hurts of Others…|
He that loveth his brother abideth in the light . . .
1 John 2:10
This age in which we live could hardly be described as conducive to a sensitiveness of the needs of others. We have developed a veneer of sophistication and hardness. Abraham Lincoln once said, characteristically, “I am sorry for the man who can’t feel the whip when it is laid on the other man’s back.” Much of the world is calloused and indifferent toward mankind’s poverty and distress. This is due largely to the fact that for many people there has never been a rebirth. The love of God has never been shed abroad in their hearts. Many people speak of the social gospel as though it were separate and apart from the redemptive Gospel. The truth is: there is only one Gospel. We must be redeemed, we must be made right with God before we can become sensitive to the needs of others. Divine love, like a reflected sunbeam, shines down before it radiates out. Unless our hearts are conditioned by the Holy Spirit to receive and reflect the warmth of God’s compassion, we cannot love our fellowmen as we ought.
|2/11/2023||His Timing Is Perfect…|
. . . that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
God has a plan for the life of every Christian. Every circumstance, every turn of destiny, is for your good. It is working together for completeness. His plan for you is being perfected. All things working together for your good and for His glory. As a young Christian, Ruth, my wife, wanted to be a missionary, as were her father and mother. But God had other plans for her life. Changing circumstances revealed God’s will to her, and she was happy where God had placed her. So many of us ask God to change the circumstances to suit our desires, instead of us conforming our wills to His. Don’t let circumstances distress you. Rather, look for the will of God for your life to be revealed in and through those circumstances.
|2/10/2023||God Made You…|
Our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.
1 John 1:3
God made you! You were fashioned in His own image! You were made in the image and likeness of the Creator. God had a purpose in making you. His primary purpose is that you would have fellowship with Him. If man does not have fellowship with God, he is lost, confused, and bewildered. Since he does not find his place, he has a sense of not fitting. There are thousands of people who admit and confess that they are unhappy. Economic security, recreation, pleasure, and a good community in which to live have not brought about the peace and happiness that they expected. The reason is that man was created in the image of God and cannot find complete rest, happiness, joy, and peace until he comes back to God.
I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
One day, by a simple act of faith, I decided to take Jesus Christ at His word. I could not come by way of the intellect alone; no one can. That does not mean that we reject reason. God has given us minds and the ability to reason wherever reason is appropriate, but the final and decisive step is taken by faith. I came by faith. Does it work when a person comes, repenting of his sins, to receive Christ by faith? I can only tell you that it worked in my own life. Something did happen to me. I didn’t become perfect, but the direction of my life was changed. I found a new dimension to life. I found a new capacity to love that I had never known before.
|2/8/2023||Power Over Sin…|
Those who belong to Christ have nailed their natural evil desires to his cross and crucified them there.
The strength for our conquering and our victory is drawn continually from Christ. The Bible does not teach that sin is completely eradicated from the Christian in this life, but it does teach that sin shall no longer reign over you. The strength and power of sin have been broken. The Christian now has resources available to live above and beyond this world. The Bible teaches that whosoever is born of God does not practice sin. It is like the little girl who said that when the devil came knocking with a temptation, she just sent Jesus to the door.
|2/7/2023||Giving Back What Is His…|
But if someone who is supposed to be a Christian has money enough to live well, and sees a brother in need, and won’t help him – how can God’s love be within him?
1 John 3:17
You know that the hardest thing for you to give up is your money. It represents your time, your energy, your talents, your total personality converted into currency. We usually hold on to it tenaciously, yet it is uncertain in value and we cannot take it into the next world. The Scripture teaches that we are stewards for a little while of all we earn. If we misuse it, as did the man who buried his talent, it brings upon us the severest judgment of God. The tithe is the Lord’s. If you use it for yourself, you are robbing God. We are to take the tithe as a standard, but to go beyond the tithe is an indication of our gratefulness for God’s gifts to us. In the midst of sorrow and trouble, this life has many blessings and enjoyments which have come from the hand of God. Even our capacity for love is a gift from God. We show our gratitude by giving back to Him a part of that which He has given to us.
|2/6/2023||The Cleansing Power of Christ…|
For if the blood of bulls and of goats . . . sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh; how much more shall the blood of Christ, . . . purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
To have a guilty conscience is an experience. Psychologists may define it as a guilt complex and may seek to rationalize away the sense of guilt; but once this has been awakened through the application of the law of God, no explanation will quiet the insistent voice of conscience. Many a criminal has finally given himself over to the authorities because the accusations of a guilty conscience were worse than prison bars. The Bible teaches that Christ cleanses the conscience. To have a guilty conscience cleansed and to be free from its constant accusation is an experience, but it is not the cleansing of the conscience that saves you; it is faith in Christ that saves, and a cleansed conscience is the result of having come into the right relationship with God.
|2/5/2023||The Importance of Corporate Worship…|
Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together . . .
I will not argue with you about nature inspiring thoughts of God. David said, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth His handiwork.” But at the same time, I would give you no comfort about absenting yourself from the house of God. The Bible says, “Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for it.” If our Lord loved it enough to die for it, then we should respect it enough to support and attend it. I like what Theodore Roosevelt once said, “You may worship God anywhere, at any time, but the chances are that you will not do so unless you have first learned to worship Him somewhere in some particular place, at some particular time.”
|2/4/2023||What God Is Like…A human perspective…|
If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there . . .
I believe it is possible to know what God is like. The Bible declares that God is Spirit, that He is not limited to body; He is not limited to shape; He is not limited to force; He is not limited to boundaries or bonds; He is absolutely immeasurable. Thousands of people are trying to limit God to certain spheres, and relegate Him to certain categories that are the product of their own speculation. There is no limit to God. There is no limit to His wisdom. There is no limit to His power. There is no limit to His love. There is no limit to His mercy. Men change, fashions change, conditions and circumstances change, but God never changes.
|2/3/2023||In His Image…|
Create in me a new, clean heart, O God, filled with clean thoughts and right desires.
You were created in the image and likeness of God. You were made for God’s fellowship, and your heart can never be satisfied without His communion. Just as iron is attracted to a magnet, the soul in its state of hunger is drawn to God. Though you, like thousands of others, may feel in the state of sin that the world is more alluring and more to your liking, some day—perhaps even now as you read these words—you will acknowledge that there is something deep down inside you which cannot be satisfied by the alloy of earth. Then with David, the Psalmist who had sampled the delicacies of sin and had found them unsatisfying, you will say, “Oh God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is.”
|2/2/2023||Life Is Eternal…|
In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began.
Life is a glorious opportunity, if it is used to condition us for eternity. If we fail in this, though we succeed in everything else, our life will have been a failure. There is no escape for the man who squanders his opportunity to prepare to meet God. Our lives are also immortal. God made man different from the other creatures. He made him in His own image, a living soul. When this body dies and our earthly existence is terminated, the soul lives on forever. One thousand years from this day, you will be more alive than you are at this moment. The Bible teaches that life does not end at the cemetery. There is a future life with God for those who put their trust in His Son, Jesus Christ.
|2/1/2023||Working Together for Good…|
We know that all things work together for good to them that love God . . .
We might never have had the songs of Fanny Crosby had she not been afflicted with blindness. George Matheson would never have given the world his immortal song, “O Love That Will Not Let Me Go,” had it not been for his passing through the furnace of affliction. The “Hallelujah Chorus” was written by George Frederick Handel when he was poverty-stricken and suffering from a paralyzed right side and right arm. Affliction may be for our edification and Christian development. Sickness is one of the “all things” which work together for good to them that love God. Don’t resent it. Don’t be embittered by it.
|1/31/2023||He Can Use Anyone…|
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
Helen Keller, who is a classic example of handling life’s handicaps, said, “I thank God for my handicaps, for through them I have found myself, my work, and my God.” Some people with handicaps drown themselves in self-pity, and thus limit their usefulness and service to mankind and to God. The Apostle Paul knew the pangs of suffering. He used his infirmity rather than allowing his infirmity to use him, and he used it for the glory of God. He seized everything, even death, to glorify his Lord. No matter which way fate turned, he was one jump ahead of it, and using it to magnify his Savior.
|1/30/2023||Use Your Time Wisely…|
For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
Nothing takes God by surprise. Everything is moving according to a plan, and God wants you in that plan. The devil also has a plan for the world. God has a plan and the devil has a plan, and you will have to decide which plan you are going to fit into. Scripture says that God allows us 70 years and some beyond. The first 15 are spent in childhood and early adolescence. Twenty years are spent in bed, and in the last five, physical limitations start to curtail our activities. That gives us about 30 years in which to live as adults. We take time out for eating, and for figuring our taxes, and we are down to perhaps 15 years. Now suppose we spend seven of those years watching television. That cuts us down to seven or eight years. Our time is short! The time we can invest for God, in creative things, in reaching our fellowmen for Christ, is short!
|1/29/2023||I will declare thy name unto my brethren . . .|
There are those near you in your own community who need the regenerating power of Christ. You can call them by name. I suggest that you make a list and begin by spending time in prayer for them. Ask God to show you how to witness to them and how to win them. Their lives can be transformed by the message you give them. You are to share this Gospel you have received. If Christ has done anything for you, then share it. In so doing, you are showing mercy! As you have received the mercy of God by the forgiveness of sin and the promise of eternal life-thus you are to show mercy! And in showing mercy you will not only receive mercy but you will find a stimulating happiness!
|1/28/2023||. . . our Lord Jesus Christ . . . which hath loved us . . . comfort your hearts . . .|
2 Thessalonians 2:16,17
Christ is the answer to sorrow. When Harry Lauder, the great Scottish comedian, received word that his son had been killed in France, he said, “In a time like this, there are three courses open to man: He may give way to despair and become bitter. He may endeavor to drown his sorrow in drink or in a life of wickedness. Or he may turn to God.” In your sorrow, turn to God. There are thousands of people who have turned to God, but you may be still carrying your burdens. God begs of you, “Cast all your cares on me, for I care for you” (1 Peter 5:7). You who must go through the valley of the shadow of death, you who must say goodbye to those whom you have loved, you who suffer privation and misery, you who are unjustly persecuted for righteousness’ sake-take heart, take courage. Our Christ is more than adequate for sorrow.
|1/27/2923||Bless me and my family forever!|
2 Samuel 7:29
Apart from religious influence, the family is the most important unit of society. It would be good if every home were Christian, but we know that it is not so. The family and the home can never exert their proper influence while ignoring the biblical standard. The Bible calls for discipline and a recognition of authority. If children do not learn this at home, they will go out into society without the proper attitude toward authority and law. There is always the exceptional child, but the average tells us that the child is largely what the home has made him. The only way to provide the right home for your children is to put the Lord above them, and fully instruct them in the ways of the Lord. You are responsible before God for the home you provide for them.
|1/26/2023||We work hard and suffer much in order that people will believe it, for our hope is in the living God who died for all.|
1 Timothy 4:9,10
Our life has its beginning in suffering. Life’s span is marked by pain and tragedy, and our lives terminate with the enemy called death. The person who expects to escape the pangs of suffering and disappointment simply has no knowledge of the Bible, of history, or of life. The master musician knows that suffering precedes glory and acclaim. He knows the hours, days, and months of grueling practice and self-sacrifice that precede the one hour of perfect rendition when his mastership is applauded. The student knows that years of study, privation, and self-renunciation precede the triumphant day of graduation and honors. Yes, there are clouds of suffering for each one of us, but God says, “I come to you in the thick dark cloud of suffering.” By faith you can see His blessed face in the storm. God has His plan and purpose in all suffering.
|1/25/2023||. . . when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem . . .|
We might as well face it, strife has even infiltrated our church life. It is true enough that the Church is now the Church militant. But, as such, its warfare ought to be that of dedication to revealed truth and divine holiness, and not intramural bickering and carnal disputes. We read in the second chapter of Luke that Joseph and Mary lost Jesus one day. Where did they lose Him? They lost Him in the most unlikely place in all the world-the Temple. I have seen many people lose Jesus right in the church. I have seen them lose Him in a dispute about who was to be choir director, who was to play the organ, who was to be an elder, or who was to be the minister. Yes, because we are human, though Christian, it is easy to lose sight of Jesus right in the temple!
|1/24/2023||Go and make disciples in all the nations . . .|
Christian missions is unique in the aggressive movements of history. Christianity in its pure form has no “axe to grind,” no system to foster, and no profit motivation. Its job is simply to “seek and to save that which is lost.” Nothing more, nothing less. The words “apostle” and “missionary” mean the same thing: “One who is sent.” The word apostle is from the Greek; and the word missionary is from the Latin.
The New Testament is a book of missions. The Gospels tell of Jesus’ missionary accomplishments, and the Acts tell of the missionary endeavors of the apostles. The disciples were launched into the world by the power of the resurrection, and the Gospel made its impact upon the world’s people. Peter went to Lydda, Joppa, Antioch, Babylon, and Asia Minor. John went to Samaria, Ephesus, and to the cities on the Mediterranean. Thomas journeyed to far away India. Paul, the peer of all early missionaries, used the roads Rome had built to take the Gospel through the Empire. Today the need for missions is greater than ever before! The world is shrinking in size but expanding in population. We live in a world of conflicting, confusing beliefs! We live in a world of complex problems! But, more important, we live in a world of dire spiritual need.
|1/23/2023||Glory in the Lord; O worshipers of God, rejoice. Search for him and for his strength, and keep on searching!|
Jerome, one of the early Christians, said, “Ignorance of the Bible means ignorance of Christ.” Job once said, “I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.” Jeremiah said, “Thy words were found and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart.” To read the Bible one needs a “quiet time.” Christian students often ask, “How do you maintain your spiritual high? What do you do on a daily basis?” I tell them about my “quiet time.” Some days it is in the early, sometimes late-morning, sometimes evening. Without it, my Christian life would be a wilderness. Isaiah said, “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 40:31). So gain the strength of eagles, as the prophet suggested. Set a time each day when you can spend a few minutes alone with God.
|1/22/2023||But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth . . .|
Demonic activity and Satan worship are on the increase in all parts of the world. The devil is at work more than at any other time. The Bible says that because he realizes his time is short, Satan’s activity will increase. But his evil activities are countered for the people of God by His ministering spirits, the holy ones of the angelic order. Christians should never fail to sense the operation of angelic glory. It forever eclipses the world of demonic powers, as the sun does a candle’s light. If you are a believer, expect powerful angels to accompany you in your life experiences. And let those events dramatically illustrate the friendly presence of “the holy ones” as Daniel calls them. Certainly, the eye of faith sees many evidences of the supernatural display of God’s power and glory. God is still in business.
|1/21/2023||O death, where is thy sting? . . .|
1 Corinthians 15:55
Death is the most democratic experience in life for we all participate in it. We think of its happening only to other people. We don’t like to grow old and we don’t like to die. The Bible teaches that death is an enemy of man and God. But it also teaches that this enemy, death, will ultimately be destroyed forever; that in fact it has already been defeated at the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Death, for a Christian, brings permanent freedom from evil. It also means the believer will be like Jesus. We shall be like Christ in love. So much of self is involved in what we do here; but one day, in Christ, we will have perfect love. What a glorious time it will be when we get to heaven!
|1/20/2023||For he knoweth our frame . . .|
It is significant that our first astronauts, while being trained for their moon flights, were required to give twenty answers to the query, “Who are you?” Take the same test yourself. When you have made your list and run out of things to add, ask yourself if you have truly answered. Do you really know who you are? Scientists agree that our desperate search leads all humans to seek heroes and to imitate others, to “paste bits and pieces of other people on ourselves.” We make love as some actor would. We play golf in the style of Jack Nicklaus. Part of this process is natural, for we learn by imitating others. The tragedy is that the person we assemble is not genuine. “Who am I?” you cry as you roam the world looking for yourself. Consider this: there are three of you. There is the person you think you are. There is the person others think you are. There is the person God knows you are and can be through Christ.
|1/19/2023||Happy is he . . . whose hope is in the Lord his God.|
Happy is the man who has learned the secret of coming to God in daily prayer. Fifteen minutes alone with God every morning before you start the day can change circumstances and remove mountains! But all of this happiness and all of these unlimited benefits which flow from the storehouse of heaven are contingent upon our relationship to God. Absolute dependency and absolute yieldedness are the conditions of being His child. Only His children are entitled to receive those things that lend themselves to happiness; and in order to be His child, there must be the surrender of the will to Him. Man does not come to know God through works—he comes to know God by faith, through grace. You cannot work your way toward happiness and heaven, you cannot moralize your way, you cannot reform your way, you cannot buy your way. It comes as a gift of God through Christ.
|1/18/2023||To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light…|
The blind man, Bartimaeus, threw off his cloak and ran trembling to Jesus. And Jesus said, “What do you want me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, that I may receive my sight.” In that moment as he said, “Lord,” his spiritual eyes were opened. And Jesus said, “Your faith has made you whole.” Notice—not your intellectual understanding, not your money, not your works—but your faith. Faith! That’s all it takes! Immediately Bartimaeus, who had been blind all of his life, began to open his eyes, and the first thing he saw was the face of Jesus. What an experience—to open one’s eyes and look straight into the strong, tender face of Jesus! Bartimaeus met Jesus and the record says he “followed Jesus in the way.” When you go back to your business, or your home, or your neighborhood, or your friends, or your school, you don’t go alone. Christ goes with you.
|1/17/2023||And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.|
Ours is an age of philosophical uncertainty, and we no longer know what we believe. We stand uncommitted. Everywhere I go, I ask students, “What is controlling you?” When I was a student, I had to face Christ. Who was He? He had made the astounding claim, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man cometh unto the Father but by me.” I wrestled with the inescapable fact that either Jesus Christ was who He claimed to be, or He was the biggest liar, fraud, and charlatan in history. Which was it? Buddha said toward the end of his life, “I am still searching for the truth.” But here was Jesus who appeared and said, “I am the embodiment of all truth. All truth is centered in me.”
|1/16/2023||I will rejoice in the Lord, I will take joy in the God of my salvation.|
Christians are supposed to be happy persons! Our generation has become well versed in Christian terminology, but is remiss in the actual practice of Christ’s principles and teachings. Hence, our greatest need today is not more Christianity but more true Christians. The world can argue against Christianity as an institution, but there is no convincing argument against a person who, through the Spirit of God, has been made Christlike. Such a person is a living rebuke to the selfishness, rationalism, and materialism of the day. Jesus said to the woman at Jacob’s well, “Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst.” This sin-sick, disillusioned woman was the symbol of the whole race. Her longings were our longings! Her heart-cry was our heart-cry! Her disillusionment was our disillusionment! Her sin was our sin! But her Savior can be our Savior! Her forgiveness can be our forgiveness! Her joy can be our joy!
|1/15/2023||When my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.|
When you become a Christian, it doesn’t mean that you will live on a perpetual “high.” The Psalmist David went down to the very depths, and so did the Apostle Paul. But in the midst of all circumstances God’s grace, peace, and joy are there. The tears will still come, the pressures will be felt, and so will the temptations. But there is a new dimension, a new direction, and a new power in life to face the circumstances in which you live.
|1/14/2023||I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.|
Unless God is revealed to us through personal experience, we can never really know God. Most of us know about God, but that is quite different from knowing God. We learn about God through the agencies of the church, the Sunday school, the youth activities, the worship services. Many people stop in their quest for God at this point. It is one thing to be introduced to a person, but quite another thing to know him personally.
|1/13/2023||And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee.|
The sea was beating against the rocks in huge, dashing waves. The lightning was flashing, the thunder was roaring, the wind was blowing; but the little bird was asleep in the crevice of the rock, its head serenely under its wing, sound asleep. That is peace—to be able to sleep in the storm! In Christ, we are relaxed and at peace in the midst of the confusion, bewilderments, and perplexities of life. The storm rages, but our hearts are at rest. We have found peace—at last!
|1/12/2023||Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.|
2 Corinthians 12:9
God is especially close to us when we are lying on a sickbed. God will make the bed soft and will freshen it with His presence and with His tender care. He makes the bed comfortable and wipes away our tears. He ministers to us with special tenderness at such a time and reveals His great love for us. Tell me why the gardener trims and prunes his rosebushes, sometimes cutting away productive branches, and I will tell you why God’s people are afflicted. God’s hand never slips. He never makes a mistake. His every move is for our own good and for our ultimate good. Oftentimes He must deform us and mutilate our own image. Deformity sometimes precedes conformity.
|1/11/2023||What we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will give us later.|
Nowhere does the Bible teach that Christians are to be exempt from the tribulations and natural disasters that come upon the world. It does teach that the Christian can face tribulation, crisis, calamity, and personal suffering with a supernatural power that is not available to the person outside Christ. The early Christians were able to experience joy in their hearts in the midst of trials, troubles, and depression. They counted suffering for Christ not as a burden or misfortune, but as a great honor, as evidence that Christ counted them worthy to witness to Him through suffering. They never forgot what Christ Himself had gone through for their salvation; and to suffer for His name’s sake was regarded as a gift rather than a cross. Christians can rejoice in tribulation because they have eternity’s values in view. When the pressures are on, they look beyond their present predicaments to the glories of heaven. The thought of the future life with its prerogatives and joys helps to make the trials of the present seem light and transient.
|1/10/2023||From everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.|
Have you ever thought about the collapse of time? From the days of the Lord Jesus Christ until about 1830, man could not travel any faster than a horse. In 1960, a man went into space and traveled at a speed of 18,000 miles an hour. Look how far we have come in so short a time! Sometimes when I read the papers, I think we are trying to run the Space Age with horse-and-buggy moral and spiritual equipment. Technology, you see, has no morals; and with no moral restraints man will destroy himself ecologically, militarily, or in some other way. Only God can give a person moral restraints and spiritual strength. While our world is shaking and crumbling, we need to realize that one thing will never change, and that is God. He is the same today as He was ten million years ago, and He will be the same ten million years from today. We are like grasshoppers; we appear and hop around a bit on the earth, and then we are gone.
|1/9/2023||Despise God’s Word and find yourself in trouble. Obey it and succeed.|
As Christians, we have the Spirit of God in us. But ours is the responsibility to keep sin out of our lives so that the Spirit can produce His fruit in us. Become grounded in the Bible. As Christians, we have only one authority, one compass: the Word of God. Abraham Lincoln in a letter to a friend said, “I am profitably engaged in reading the Bible. Take all of this Book upon reason that you can, and the balance upon faith. You will live and die a better man.” Begin the day with the Book; and as the day comes to a close, let the Word speak its wisdom to your soul. Let it be the firm foundation upon which your hope is built. Let it be the Staff of Life upon which your spirit is nourished. Let it be the Sword of the Spirit which cuts away the evil of your life and fashions you in His image and likeness.
|1/8/2023||What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe . . .|
We are to pray in times of adversity, lest we become faithless and unbelieving. We are to pray in times of prosperity, lest we become boastful and proud. We are to pray in times of danger, lest we become fearful and doubting. We need to pray in times of security, lest we become self-sufficient. Sinners, pray to a merciful God for forgiveness. Christians, pray for an outpouring of God’s Spirit upon a willful, evil, unrepentant world. Parents, pray that God may crown your home with grace and mercy. Children, pray for the salvation of your parents. Christians, saints of God, pray that the dew of heaven may fall on earth’s dry, thirsty ground, and that righteousness may cover the earth as the waters cover the sea.
|1/7/2023||He is my refuge . . .|
Modern psychiatrists say that one of the basic needs of man is security. In the 91st Psalm we are assured that in God we have the greatest of security, “There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For He shall give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.” If you read and reread this beautiful Psalm, you will discover that in Him we have a permanent abode and residence, and that all of the comfort, security, and affection which the human heart craves is found in Him. Perhaps no visible angels will appear in your life and mine, but God’s promise of security is nonetheless real and certain. Those who live in the realm of God have genuine safety and security.
|1/6/2023||Keep a sharp lookout! For you do not know when I will come. . . . Watch for my return!|
Mark 13:35, 36
The great Dwight L. Moody used to say, “I never preached a sermon without thinking that possibly the Lord may come before I preach another.” Dr. G. Campbell Morgan, the distinguished British clergy-man, said, “I never begin my work in the morning without thinking that perhaps he may interrupt my work and begin His own. I am not looking for death. I am looking for Him.” That is the way a Christian should live his life—in the constant anticipation of the return of Jesus Christ! If we could live every day as though it may be the very last one before the final judgment, what a difference it would make here on earth! But we don’t like to think that way. We don’t like to think that our carefully made plans, our long range schemes may be interrupted by the trumpet of God. Too many people would rather say, “Oh, well, the end of the world hasn’t come yet, so why think about it—it’s probably a thousand years away.”
|1/5/2023||Love never faileth . . .|
1 Corinthians 13:8
The first essential for a happy Christian home is that love must be practiced. Homes that are built on animal attraction and lust are destined to crumble and fall. Love is the cohesive force that holds the family together. True love contains an element of spiritual mystery. It embodies loyalty, reverence, and understanding. Love imposes a tremendous responsibility on all members of a family, but it is a responsibility accompanied by glorious rewards. “Love,” says the Bible, “even as Christ . . . loved the church, and gave Himself for it.” How did Christ love the church? He loved it despite its faults, its mistakes, and its weaknesses. True love does not fail. It loves despite personality defects, physical blemishes, and mental quirks. Love is deep, abiding, and eternal. Nothing can bring a sense of security into the home as true love can.
|1/4/2022||The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?|
Today many people are living in the bondage of fear. In a recent study a psychiatrist said that the greatest problem facing his patients was fear. Fear of going insane, committing suicide, being alone, or fear of heart disease, cancer, disaster, or death. We are becoming a nation of fearful people. Down through the centuries in times of trouble, temptation, trial, bereavement, and crisis, God has brought courage to the hearts of those who love Him. The Bible is crowded with assurances of God’s help and comfort in every kind of trouble which might cause fears to arise in the human heart. Today the Christian can come to the Scriptures with full assurance that God is going to deliver the person who puts his trust and confidence in God. Christians can look into the future with promise, hope, and joy, and without fear, discouragement, or despondency.
|1/3/2023||As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.|
The great Swiss theologian, Dr. Karl Barth, was probably in his generation the greatest theologian in the world, and a great philosopher as well. I did not always agree with him, but he was my friend and I respected him. While he was in this country, a student at one of the seminaries said, “Dr. Barth, what is the greatest truth that ever crossed your mind?” All the seminary students were sitting on the edge of their seats to hear some great, profound, deep, complicated answer. Dr. Barth slowly raised his great shaggy gray head and looked at the student and said, “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.”
|1/2/2023||O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee; my soul thirsteth for thee . . .|
Some Christians have learned little of a daily devotional life. Some time ago a policeman asked me what the secret of victorious living was. I told him that there is no magic formula that can be pronounced. If any word could describe it, I would say surrender. The second word I would say would be devotion. Nothing can take the place of a daily devotional life with Christ. Your quiet time, your prayer time, the time you spend in the Word, is absolutely essential for a happy Christian life. You cannot possibly be a happy, dynamic, and powerful Christian apart from a daily walk with Christ. Christ is calling Christians today to cleansing, to dedication, to consecration, and to full surrender. It will make the difference between success and failure in your spiritual life. It will make the difference between being helped and helping others. It will make a difference in your habits, in your prayer life, in your Bible reading, in your giving, in your testimony, and in your church membership. This is the Christian hour of decision!
|1/1/2023||Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead.|
As we flick the calendar to a new year, we come face to face with the fact that our days on earth are numbered. As the Psalmist wrote, “Teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” No thoughtful person can approach New Year’s Day without some introspection. We are reminded of the brevity of time. We also look back over our failures, mistakes, and missed opportunities, and vow that we will make better use of our time during the coming year. We should take time to be pleasant, to smile, to extend the small courtesies we often omit—to show love to our family. Psychiatrists tell us that most people are starved for love. Take time for the goodbye kiss; we shall go to work with a sweeter spirit. Let us take time to get acquainted with our families. We are not machines. We are not robots. The secret of a happy home is that members of the family learn to give and receive love. Let us take time to express our love in a thousand ways.