WHEN YOU HAVE NO HOPE

Samuel A CainHope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life. (Proverbs 13:12 ESV)

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. (Psalm 43:5 ESV)

Life apart from Jesus Christ is a life without hope in God. We all need hope. Hope gives us a future to look forward to. The circumstances of our lives, however, often make that future impossible to imagine. I think most people experience times when they feel no hope. Sometimes, it seems as if the experience of hopelessness goes on and on. Sometimes, you feel as if it is dragging you to your grave.

Loss of hope may be the result of bad choices. Hopelessness may be caused by disastrous circumstances which have erupted in your life which you cannot control. There are emotional conflicts with the people around you at work or at home which often throw your life into chaos. I think most of us would prefer to live positive and upbeat lives. Yet, most of us have experienced a season of hopelessness in our lives. Continue reading

GOD WILL BLESS HIS WORD

Billy GrahamBilly Graham:

“When we preach or teach the Scriptures, we open the door for the Holy Spirit to do His work. God has not promised to bless oratory or clever preaching. He has promised to bless His Word.”

 

CHOSEN TO BE HOLY

Samuel A CainEven as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, (Ephesians 1:4-5 ESV)

As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:14-16 ESV)

God is holy and therefore, is not apathetic about sin. Because God is holy, He cannot be appeased by the sinner’s own works. The God of the Bible takes sin so seriously that our own efforts cannot erase the guilt of our sin. Only a holy God can deal with it. The example of the holiness we need in our lives was found in the life of Christ. In Christ we have the holiness of the invisible God lived out in human life, conduct, and character. Through the atoning work of Jesus Christ, God has forgiven our sins that we may take part in His holiness.

Salvation is in Christ. If you are saved, it is because God has forgiven you and imparted to you the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Continue reading

COMPROMISED PREACHING

Alistair BeggAlistair Begg:

“Unfortunately, preachers who distort God’s Word are all too common today. Sometimes this springs from a sincere desire to soften hard hearts, but hearts are not changed by compromise.”

 

PLEASANT PLACES

A. W. PinkArthur W. Pink:

Faith endures as seeing Him who is invisible (Heb. 11:27); endures the disappointments, the hardships, and the heart-aches of life, by recognizing that all comes from the hand of Him who is too wise to err and too loving to be unkind. But so long as we are occupied with any other object than God Himself, there will be neither rest for the heart nor peace for the mind. But when we receive all that enters our lives as from His hand, then, no matter what may be our circumstances or surroundings—whether in a hovel or prison-dungeon, or at a martyr’s stake—we shall be enabled to say, ” The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places” (Ps. 16:6). But that is the language of faith, not of sight nor of sense.

 

 

IRRESISTIBLE GRACE

Dr James WhiteDr. James White:

The doctrine of “irresistible grace” is easily understood. It is simply the belief that when God chooses to move in the lives of His elect and bring them from spiritual death to spiritual life, no power in heaven or on earth can stop Him from so doing. It is really nothing more than saying that it is God who regenerates sinners, and that freely. The doctrine has nothing to do with the fact that sinners “resist” the common grace of God and the Holy Spirit (they do) or that Christians do not live perfectly in the light of God’s grace. It is simply the confession that when God chooses to raise His people to spiritual life, He does so without the fulfillment of any conditions on the part of the sinner. Just as Christ had the power and authority to raise Lazarus to life without obtaining his “permission” to do so, He is able to raise His elect to spiritual life with just as certain a result.

KEEPING THE HEART

Samuel A CainKeep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. Put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you. Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil. (Proverbs 4:23-27 ESV)

We often talk about the heart as the seat of our passions and emotions. In this non-physical sense, we think of it as the domain of our true feelings and beliefs. King Solomon reminds us to, “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” (Proverbs 4:23 ESV)

I like that proverb and its description of the human heart; “for from it flow the springs of life.” What do you imagine these springs might look like? I would envision that, from person to person, there would be some degree of difference in each. Some would be crystal clear while others would be cloudy and some black in hue. The quality of the springs would be determined by the amount of the world’s pollution found in the heart. Out of the well-kept heart will flow living springs that will glorify God. I am speaking, of course, of wisdom (living springs) – the kind that only the words of God can give. Immediately following this verse, Proverbs 4 goes on to instruct us: Continue reading

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